R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson

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I Plotted, I Wrote, I Did It!

I am proud to announce that during the month of April I did, indeed, achieve my goal:

50,000 words.

Writing 2000 words a day turns out to be just about perfect for me when I'm in first-draft mode; it's enough to keep me moving quickly without feeling overwhelmed by the demand, and it makes it possible to meet the goal without sacrificing my husband and children to the cause. I usually managed to get 1,000 words or more written while the baby was napping, and the remaining words at night after the kids went to bed -- and even have a little time to spare at the end of it. But I also wrote a little extra whenever I felt up to it, which got me through a busy Easter weekend and also enabled me to prepare for an upcoming seminar without dropping behind.

I couldn't have done this without some serious preparation beforehand, though -- like creating detailed character profiles for all the main and secondary characters, and building up the plot concept in stages from a one-sentence description to a one-page synopsis and then to a full spreadsheet listing every scene in the book. I modified the template I got from Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake goodies package to suit my needs, and ended up with a combination plot outline and timeline for the whole novel, with a column to list the secondary characters involved in each scene so I could be sure I wasn't giving any of them short shrift. All that was done by the end of March.

When I started my first draft on April 1st, I was able to type the wordcount into the spreadsheet every time I wrote a scene and keep track of the running total, which reassured me of my progress and challenged me to meet my daily goal. I also wrote each scene of the book in a new document, so I wouldn't be tempted to go back and re-read or revise the stuff I'd already written. I will definitely do both those things again with the next book, because they're very helpful.

Anyway, I still have about 25K to write, but I have definitely hit the home stretch and I'm very happy with my progress. My goals for May are to keep writing my 2000 words a day until I finish Touching Indigo, then put that first draft away for 4-6 weeks while I query some more agents and get started on the preliminary work for the next book. Then I'll either write the first draft of that novel or I'll revise Indigo, whichever seems most sensible at the time...

Thanks to jmprince and all the others who joined me on the Fast Draft Express! And I wish you all the best as you start on the next phase of your own projects!
Tags: fast draft, first draft in 30 days, outlining, ultraviolet, writing
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