Good, solid forward movement on the NaNo book yesterday.  I’ve still not caught up to where I should be on the graph, but seeing as I don’t work on weekends and I missed the first three days.  -shrug-  I’ll be there by the end.  And I’m in no hurry.  The story flows as the story goes.

However, one of my writing-rough-draft tips saved my butt yesterday.  When I write rough draft, I make it a practice to never go back into a chapter I’ve finished, even if I want to make major changes.  What I will do is briefly open the file back up and jot down the changes I want to make in that big white space I always leave at the beginning of the chapter, and then proceed onto the next chapter as if I had made those changes.   Hey, I make things up for a living.  It’s easy to pretend.

This novel is no exception, and as I began my dialog for chapter three late yesterday, I found the few notes I penciled in the day before (for changes I wanted to make in chapter one) were now useless.  After moving forward another step, I found I needed bigger things, such as an additional character, I had to change how someone dies, and I found the way to begin the betrayal I’d already planned on, but in a much stronger, faster way.  Had I taken yesterday and worked my original, now useless, changes in, my word count for the day would have been very near zero, and all for nothing as I have since thrown them out for something better.

Even though I have practice doing this, (making notes of what I want to change and then moving on as if I’d done it) it is hard.  I very much like knowing exactly what I’m working with, especially when it comes to emotion.  But I also know that I’m going to be going over this thing three or four more times, bare minimum.  I can fix it then.  Like Anakin Skywalker’s mom says, “Never look back.”  And to that, I would add on, “Until you reach the end and start over.”  And who knows.  I might get into chapter five and discover that the new person I need in chapter one works better if she’s a woman, or someone that Taylor already knows, or should be two people, or that the one guy really didn’t have to die.  No harm, no foul.  Lots of words on the page mean lots more toys to play with.

Happy NaNoing!



Filed under Drama Box

27 responses to “NaNoing

  1. ~Lynn from Haverhill

    You say “useless” in a sentence and I go straight to Talo-Toecan. 🙂
    Keep up the good work with NaNo!

  2. Thanks for this post, Kim. It was exactly what I needed to hear, that even the professionals go back and change the crap outta their stories. For some reason, I was under the impression that the majority of your characters and story lines just flowed out semi-perfectly, and all you had to correct were things like sentence structure & grammatical effect. I’m learning how to kick my inner editor in the booty and just keep writing, and hopefully the whole story will actually come on out. 🙂

  3. Victoria Eskey

    Love it! 🙂 I am having so much fun with NaNo! I had hoped I would be better at my Latin, but talents develop over time…. right?
    Anyway, I’m so happy you are having a good time with Taylor. Haven’t heard about Meg or Grace in awhile. To think about Meg and the spider… ewwwww….. ^_~

    • Me too, Victoria. It’s amazing the boost you can get just by knowing you are not alone at the desk. I’m giving Meg and Grace a rest while my editor looks at them.

  4. Yasmin

    Good to know how you handle your “I need a dog!” moments. 🙂 I was away from my keyboard a lot yesterday and unfortunately I thought about what I HAD written and not what I WILL write, which sent my inner editor into a frenzy!
    And now I am procrastianting.
    Have you seen the “adopt this” threads?

    Hope one day to see Miss Reed in print 😉

  5. SeattleRobin

    Last year as I got well into the novel I found there were a lot of really little things that needed changing in earlier chapters based on what I’d just written. If I knew exactly where to find it and it only needed the tweaking of a couple words or sentences I went back and made the change right then.

    For everything bigger than that I have a file for rewrite notes so I don’t waste time going back. My file this year already has several notes in it, and like you I’ve already changed my mind again on a couple of them. I start a new rewrite note file when I start a new draft.

  6. jkh

    “Leave white space at the top of the [chapter, or whatever] for making notes to remember when you come back for rewrite…” Wowie! What a good tip!

    Expanding my little novella to a 3-book work will need lots of revision, and this will help me so much. Thank you!

  7. It’s so hard not to rewrite as the thoughts come. I like your idea of jotting down the notes in the “big white space”. I’ve been disciplining myself on writing notations instead of reworking the rough draft as I go this year and your tips are most helpful.

    My Nano project is a fragmented mess but a forward moving mess just the same. I’ve placed key words to help with the organization after November is over. I’ve hand-written a LEGEND to keep me on track. So far, it’s working.

  8. read it. loved it. will notice you when I found words for my review… 😉

  9. Howdy ma’am,

    Are we going to get to read your NaNo project some day or are you going to hide it away?

    Why are most of the best UF authors female? There are only a few good male UF authors that I am aware of.

    Jim Butcher’s(and SyFy) “Dresden Files” are what got me hooked on UF.

    NaNo reminds me of Mork, “Nanoo Nanoo”


  10. “The world is much smaller, the character count at three right now, and I killed one.” LOL–that’s a pretty small world, all right.

    I actually wanted to thank you for something you wrote a few days ago–that you suck at writing and excel at rewriting. For years I told my business-writing students that hardly anyone is a good writer, but lots of people are good revisers. Now if I go back to teaching, I can use you as evidence!

    • SiSi

      Oops–this comment is from Sisi. Didn’t realize I was still logged in with my WordPress blogging name and apparently I can’t do anything with the comment once I hit “post.”

    • SeattleRobin

      I was cracking up at the “three characters and killed one” bit also. 🙂

    • I’m working to up my character count. I’ve got four now on my character grid, and am looking to up it by three more today. Hopefully they will all survive. -laugh-

  11. Wow. Thanks for the tip of the white space I found in the first book I started i was having trouble moving forward,becasu i kept going back and changing –a lot. This NaNo has taught me to just keep goig, Since i am so new to writing and the word processer.(i just started using it a few months back and am computer illiteerate),I have been using paper and post it notes instead. So today i try leeaving the white space! I have also found I like to just go for it and write eeverythign that comens to me ,even if i dont thinkit is appropriate for the book ( a lot of it after i get it down i see will go in afterall with a few minore tweaks. So Im off to do my word count today! I am almost halfway done with my 50,000 but also jsut barely halfway on the book. i will go to the end of the month since my first goal is to finish the NaNO the second to finish this draft so i can rturn to thee first book and finish also! Good luck adn I love the I dea of the love scene in your book sounds intrigueing–Glad your having fun –