Monday, March 3, 2014

Reaching The End

Sunday afternoon, I wrote the two sweetest words in the world: The End. Why are these the two sweetest words? Because I have something to work with. I actually prefer revisions over rough drafts because that's when I get to pull things together, add foreshadowing, and all that other cool stuff. I finished the rough draft of an urban fantasy, new adult novel. It's the second in a series, the second sequel I've ever written and, as with any story, I learned from the process.

One thing I did different this time around was to write down my word count every day. I didn't track the words written that particular day, but the total, so I got to see the number creep up slowly, with jumps here and there. I also wrote down when I skipped a day, and what the reason was (i.e., sick day, or brainstorming). I can seen where I dashed through from about 10K to 30K, and then slowed to a more consistent pace after that. I'm not sure how it worked, exactly, but it kept me going. Maybe it was the fact that I was holding myself accountable in this notebook and I didn't want a bunch of days when I wrote "I slacked off."

Now, I'm not much of an outliner at all. I plan ahead a bit, and then I plunge through the rough draft. The rough draft ends up being more of a really, really detailed outline, and I often surprise myself along the way, which I think is a good thing since it will (hopefully) also surprise the reader. But, during my planning for this novel I wrote out a basic summary. It was nothing major, just a few lines. I had originally intended for this to be a four book series, so I wrote out a summary for books three and four, and I discovered something really interesting. Nothing much happened in book three. So I took the wee bit from that one and tacked it onto the fourth. Now I know my series will be three books long, and I figured it out with a minimum of grief. So from now on, I'm going to outline just a teensy bit.

One last thing. I tend to come in under my target word count. Every. Single. Time. I panic, then during revisions I end up adding a lot of stuff and pretty much meet the original target word count. This time, I almost hit my word count. I like to think it's a sign of improvement.

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