Hunting For Lessons Learned

I’ve been blogging about this process this month because I need to talk about it. I’m that blabby kid in class who has to talk through the word problem before I figure out the equation. I blogged about what I thought was different from novel to novel. I then blogged about exactly how not-different this process is at all.

This weekend, I cracked open that old NaNoWriMo draft and read it for the first time in 10 months. I did it because I knew that it felt like this latest novel draft and that one were at the same spot. I wanted to read that rough and see what I’d need to do to edit it and make it usable.

I’m still creating and exploring my creative process, and the fact that these two drafts fell out at exactly the same moment in time (and practically the same word count) tells me a lot about my process.  Maybe this is how my first drafts should look. Maybe this is where my first draft gets called done.  I keep saying that I need to do more, that it needs to be more complete, but maybe that’s not how I work.

I’m giving myself room to discover my natural rhythm.

Sadly, for you, it means I have to blog all about it while I explore this weird new territory of letting myself stretch and be and create.

What I learned from reading that draft:

  1. It wasn’t nearly as rough as I expected it to be. Sure, it needs revising. But it doesn’t suck.
  2. I still need to spend some time with my current rough draft before I call it done. It is no where near the other one.

Next steps?

Finish the draft – get it up to par with the one I just read. Basically, that is going to mean scene-level additions and assessment. Make the scenes more complete, add in the tension and emotion I know are there.

Edit the NaNo – I am fired up about that novel now that I’ve re-read it, and it’s time to dig into the revisions that it does need.

Plan for November – I’ve also realized that the piece I was conceptualizing for November was not the one I want to work with. If this is my process (and I think this is my process), then that’s the wrong piece for a 50K sprint in November.

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