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Easing into the Second

Fleshing out the outline, laying down scenes.

When I first attempted an NaNoWriMo fifteen years ago, I thought the hardest part of completing a novel was getting all the way through the first draft.


Today, ten first drafts sit in a folder on my laptop. They stand as part of that “million words” a writer has to write before getting down to the business of finishing a novel. (Though, if we’re counting, that million was long done in the stacks of paper journals filled before my typing got faster than writing longhand–and before regular changes in residence meant I had to haul around paper journals.)

Scale of the Shadow Dragon got special treatment because it’s for my daughter. Yes, the added compulsion to do something for another inspired me to finally give an MS the time it needed–and give me the time I needed to learn about the pitfalls of re-drafting a full novel.

Anyway, here I am with the second book. I’m determined not to fall into the same trap I had with the first: early fiddling and late detailed outlining.

The Pants-er had her day; it’s the Plot-ers turn. I’m letting Dramatica give me a hand. In previous NaNo’s I would use Dramatica’s Story Expert (back then it was just Dramatic Pro) to generate ideas. I found myself going back to it late in SotSD when confronted with plot holes I’d glossed over in the original draft. This time I thought I’d work the whole program, letting its engine suggest options, but not slavishly adhering to them. I’m finding it helpful in brainstorming the details. It takes patience. The Pants-er in me keeps wanting to dive into the Scrivener file and bang out more scenes. I let that part of me have the first and last segments of a writing session–with the understanding that those scenes may never see the light of a printed page.


One comment on “Easing into the Second

  1. So impressed that you have fifteen years’ worth of NaNoWriMo experience!


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