Fiction Writing

Free time writer

Words written/total: 838/4382

I’ve noticed that my first couple days of pounding out 1500 words in one sitting are remarkably difficult to replicate. Now, 700-800 words is still what I’d call a good writing night, so realistically my momentum has not faltered, merely slowed. And I need to keep telling myself this…even when I have the occasional flame-out or 200-300 word day where I can’t slog through whatever I’m working on, it isn’t the end of the world. Inspiration comes and goes.

This has been a formative bit of writing for me, for a few reasons. First of all, it requires going back to my old drafts and notes, reading through a lot of things multiple times, and thinking about how things are changing. Second, I’m still going by my old watermark for progress: the first 10,000 words are the real trial. Once you have 10,000 words of a single project, expository groundwork is essentially over and the writing should be easier to continue.

While I kind of flailed about while trying to do it, I can now look back and say that outlining is a fantastic idea. I was taught outlining for many different kinds of projects when in school, and promptly forgot about it for all but the most research-intensive and technical projects I wrote for both school and work (though a grading rubric usually doubles as an outline for anything resembling a paper in an engineering program, so I still avoided actually writing many outlines). Now that I’ve actually done one for a fictional project, I can see how immensely helpful it is. That said, I started to stray from the outline in my writing last night, and latter sections of the book are just blank spots in the outline. Outlines are more useful when you realize they aren’t set in stone, and in fact changing them helps you organize your thoughts and see what’s missing even as you alter the story.

Anyways. While the initial furor has worn off, and post-vacation inertia has set in, I’m still writing. I have a mild goal to reach that 10,000 word mark by the end of August, but I have no idea if real life will cooperate. Nothing wrong with taking everything a day at a time.

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