I have been writing as long as I can remember. Yet, somehow in all of that time I have never actually finished a book. It’s not like I haven’t tried. Or had enough time. I’ve had both. I just never got to the point where I had a full, complete book. To be honest, I still don’t. Since said book is still in the draft phase and nearly unreadable by everyone but me. But it is still a book. All 81,700 words of it (I was a bit proud that it ended at 81,700 instead of say 81,732. It’s the little things).
How I did it. Well, I stopped sleeping. Joking. Sort of. No really, this is how I did it.
- I stopped jumping back and forth between books. At any given time I have 3-5 plot lines I just have to write about right now. And I would try to write each of those 3-5 plot lines allatthesametime. It didn’t work. So I forced myself to pick just one and stick with it.
- I picked a plot line that I wasn’t too worried about screwing up. Yes. I like the plot. Yes. I think it will make a good book. But it was the least complicated out of my other plot lines. That in my mind made it easier to write (just so you know, I am now in draft two and I think I was wrong before, but at least I didn’t know that at the time)
- Scrivener. Seriously. It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to stumble across this program. I love word. I grew up on word. I will still probably understand word more than any other word processing program. It just doesn’t work for writing novels. It really doesn’t work for anything past the 20-30 page mark. Anything longer and things get hard to find. Never mind trying to move sections around. Nope. Scivener is the way to go. This and my new to me Mac.
- Stopped sleeping. Told you I was only partially joking. I didn’t exactly stop sleeping, I just slept less. Luckily this is fairly easy for me. I am a night owl by nature. A couple of hours every night after the family was in bed was the perfect setting. On the plus side, we had been going to bed super early, so me staying up really just equated to a normal bedtime for you know, normal people.
So roughly 2.5 years later I had my first full, horrible draft. I was quite proud of it… but let me tell you finishing that first draft was oddly anti-climatic. That and once I did finish it. I couldn’t bring myself to touch it again for another few months. So now, here I am half way through my second draft. I dropped from 81,700 words to right around 75,000. I did a lot of cutting. With even more cutting planned. I’ve re-written two scenes and plan on re-writing an additional 3-4. It has been going so. slow. Somehow editing is harder. But with only 113 days to go… I’ve got no choice but to buckle down and get things done.