August is upon us, and so I have no choice but to set my nose to the grindstone and start writing the first draft of The Prince of Lies. (OK so I actually started a couple of days ago – don’t tell anyone, all right?)
The thing is, I really hate writing first drafts. Really, really hate it. That vast expanse of empty wordage stretching before me, waiting to be filled? Turns my innards to water. Worse still, I didn’t complete my outline; I have a few scenes planned in detail at the beginning and some chapter ideas for the first half of the book, but then the second half is summed up in a couple of sentences. Well, maybe three. As per usual, I have no idea how I’m going to get from the midpoint of the book to the ending I have in mind.
That’s OK, though, because I’ve been here before, and now I know it’s just a case of sitting down and pushing through the fog until I find the story. I’m therefore adopting a “car headlights” approach to this draft, in that I’m only going to plan each scene in detail just before I write it, because that’s the only point at which I have a good chance of knowing what needs to happen next. I have a pocket-sized Moleskine and I’m starting a new scene outline on each righthand page – I just hope I have enough pages!
The reason I want to plan each scene before I write it is because I’m also trying out all three of Rachel Aaron’s productivity boosters at once. One leg of that tripod is to know what you’re going to write before you sit down to write it. The others are to have fun (as mentioned in my last post) and to keep a spreadsheet of writing sessions to find out when and where you’re most productive.
That brings me onto the fact that this month is also Camp NaNoWriMo, the summer version of the famous writing extravaganza, so I’m using that to try and jumpstart my mojo. After all, the first two books were originally written for NaNoWriMo, and they turned out OK in the end! Also, if I’m tracking my daily word count anyway, it’s not much more work to do a full productivity spreadsheet.
So far it seems to be working – I exceeded my 1667-word target both days! Let’s see if I can keep that up for a whole month…
Total word count: 3,538 (2 days)