This week didn’t feel insanely productive, but looking back it really was! I got a couple of chapters edited in each finished project, and even finally read over everything I’d already written for the project that just won’t die. Aside from that I wrote a chapter for every single WIP, though I’ll likely start to focus more on one thing ahead of the others very soon. It just feels nice to have touched base with everything I have going on.
Sometimes I think about the other writers that I know, and it’s sort of amazing how we all have such different styles when it comes to how we approach things. I don’t know any two people who do things the same way, but it’s sort of refreshing. It’s nice that we each have our own path set up for ourselves.
For me the act of actually writing is the easiest part of the whole writing process. One I have the idea and I flesh it out some I can knock out a project fairly quickly. If I’m doing something for NaNo I can typically get it finished in about 9 days or so. My fastest ever for finishing a first draft was six days. I still can’t believe that I actually did that.
Now I’m not saying that writing a first draft in six days is ever a great idea. I have only ever done that, or felt driven to do that, during NaNoWriMo. The last two projects I finished first drafts of took me about a month, which I feel is pretty acceptable.
After that though things just get hairy. My first step is to take a break, to move away from what I just finished and give myself breathing room. This can be a week to a month, sometimes more. I can’t help it, I just need the distance. After that I have to force myself to do a first edit. I hate editing, but I really have to make myself do this.
After that it’s all about getting my editors to look it over and make their suggestions, and then I’m forced into a third edit. I use their critiques, advice, and the errors they caught to polish things up. After that I do one more fourth edit where I read through it totally and catch anything else.
This process took me a year from start to finish with A Crooked Mile. Mostly because I was just so crazy slow about it. I’d like to speed things up this time around, but we’ll see.
For now I’m just glad to be in a good pattern, accomplishing things every week.
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