Thursday, May 21, 2009

14 week novel, wk 11: follow your own path

Last week I asked other writers to weigh in on writing novels. If you haven’t already, check out the excellent answers that everyone gave on both blogs: Live Journal week 10 , Blogger week 10. Thank you so much to all the authors that commented!!!

It’s week eleven and we’re almost to the finish line …

Goal for week #11: Follow your own path. Find a way to work that works for you, whether it’s the 14 week novel, NaNoWriMo, fast drafting, slow drafting, BIC, or your own process.

What’s my path? The last couple of weeks I’ve been fighting a cold and unable to work (or worry) about my WIP the way I usually do. It’s made me realize that the way that I write might not fit well into the 14 week novel challenge, and that’s ok. I’m glad I did it because I like trying new processes, and it might work for someone else. I’m going to continue with it until the end, because I think it’s still a valuable exercise and it helps me to keep working on my projects. And anything that keeps me moving forward is worth it.

Why isn't it working? I think it’s because I need time to let my ideas percolate; they aren’t always ready when I want them to be. Or it could be because I’m not a one-project person, even though I’d like to be. I’m a multiple-project girl and I need to (finally) embrace that craziness. As long as I’m working on something and working towards the finish, that’s good for me.

What is working? I have learned to stick with a project (like Sheila the zombie cheerleader), even when I need to stop and work on another project for a while. For instance, I finally figured out a novel that’s been bugging me for a while and has been everything from a PB to a comic strip. The next few days are going to be devoted to writing it all down. Then I’m going back to working on Sheila’s story and taking a intensive comics class to help me learn more about writing and illustrating graphic novels.

What process works for you? How long did it take you to figure it out or are you still trying to find your process?


  1. I'm one of those strange edit-as-you-go people. It means that I don't draft very quickly, but what I turn out is close to finished because the "first" draft has really been revised at least five times before my critiquers even see it. I've tried to change it and whip out a draft like so many other people I know, but I'm just too obsessive compulsive. It works for me, so I'm just running with it!

    BTW, Cluck and Zero just arrived, and they are so CUTE!!!

  2. I have no experience with novel writing, but I do have to let ideas percolate. I need to set some things aside and work on something else for awhile.
    What I hate is how long it takes to finish anything that way - I think setting some deadlines might be good for me!

  3. Carrie, it's great that you've found a process that works for you, especially since you've also discovered what doesn't work for you. Keep doing what you're doing!

    BTW, I like to edit as I go too. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it just helps me procrastinate.

    Thanks for letting me know that Cluck and Zero arrived safely! They are really cute, aren't they? :)

    Adrienne, letting ideas percolate is great for PBs or artwork too. It's good that you know when to put things aside for a while.

    I know what you mean about things taking so long to finish. That's why I keep trying (and will continue) to do deadlines and fast track projects. One of these times it's got to work, right?

  4. Wow! those are great questions and I love your answers. It's so true, even if you don't "finish" a project w/i the allotted time, there is still so much that has been learned, and the writing police won't arrest you if you take longer than needed. The point is . . . you made progress and you learned a lot along the way.

    I did NaNoWriMo for the first time this past Nov. and I loved it. The fast draft process worked well for me, because it made getting the story out of my head and onto the paper FUN! I loved it!

  5. Thanks Christy! It's good to know the writing police won't get me (some days I wonder). I'm glad the fast drafting of NaNo worked for you. One of these years it might work for me too, right? ;)