One month in

Exactly one month ago today – May 3rd – I started writing The Garden of Princes. Throwing caution to the wind, I went in blind, without much of a plan beyond how it all got started and how it would end. Everything in between those two points was a huge blank. And now, I’ve written every day for thirty two days straight. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before in my life. And even better, I’m nowhere near a burnout.

In some ways though, I feel that my lack of a plan is coming back to bite me in the butt. One of the reasons why I was so reluctant to get started on a big project in the first place, was that I get so demotivated when I feel like I don’t know where I’m going. While that’s still true, I’m glad I’ve gotten started; when I’m actually writing, I’m forced to think about the project for an extended period of time each day. I’ve realized a lot of things about the story and jotted down ideas for later use, so I’ve got a much better idea of where I’m going than I did a month ago. I’ve filled twenty pages of a notebook, and I keep adding to it every day.

I have, however, come to realize that the main plot lines may not work as well together as I would want them to. The timelines feel off, so I may end up chopping out one of them and save it for later. I guess it’s good that I’m seeing this now and not when I’ve written ten thousands of words for the plot, but it’s still fairly frustrating to contemplate losing a good chunk of what I’ve written so far. Of course, it’s this plot line that gave the project its name, so now I really have to think of a new title.

I’ve got plenty of time though, as this is turning out to be slow work. I’m trying to come to terms with how long it’s going to take me to finish this first draft, but I’m finding it hard. As some of you might have seen at the bottom of the blog, I’ve set myself a deadline on December 1st, but I’m not sure that’s entirely realistic. On one hand, the six months between now and December 1st sound like an eternity. On the other hand, I’m trying not to burn myself out on the project, like I’ve done so many times in the past. If I keep going at the pace I’ve been going at for the past month, I think I’ll end up missing the deadline. Not by a whole lot, but I’m toying with the possibility of giving myself more time instead of hoping that I’ll pick up the pace later on. It is, after all, better to finish sometime next year than it is to give up on the project altogether because I’m always wishing that my process was different than it is. I may be a fast typist, but that doesn’t translate into being a fast writer.

So, how are you guys’ WIPs coming along?

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4 thoughts on “One month in

  1. Beverley Lee says:

    I do understand what you’re going through. I am not by nature a plotter/outliner, and my whole manuscript was written by characters and story leading. Somehow I cobbled it all together enough for it to make sense but I still had to go through a further 3 drafts to fit everything into the right slot. If I’d planned it would it have been quicker? Probably. But I feel that I might have lost the organic sense of it.

    Do whatever works for you. Once you have the first draft down then you can go back and edit. The important thing is not being too critical of this first fragile attempt.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, give yourself as much time as it needs but try and write a little each day even if it’s only a couple of hundred words.

    Congratulations on your achievement so far. You’re doing great. And if you need cheering on you know where to find me!

    • Dee says:

      I actually do consider myself a planner, just a one who’s not very good at planning. But I suppose I’ll learn.

      Thanks for your encouragement! I really appreciate it.

  2. Allison W says:

    I’m currently in the midst of revisions. I’ve been through my story so many times, I think my eyeballs might start bleeding soon!

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