As I said in my last post, I'm going to try really hard to write a little more frequently. I can't promise multiple times a week, or even once a week, but I'm trying. Today, I've really been thinking about the different writing processes that I've gone through to complete manuscripts. I don't know that any particular one works "best" for me--I think it really depends on where I am in the manuscript and where I am in life. But one thing I've had decent success with is NaNoWriMo (also known as National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who aren't acquainted). I was thinking about this the other day (July 1st, to be exact), and I realized that that's exactly what I need in order to finally finish this manuscript that I've been working on for years.
Yes, you heard that correctly--years.
I've referred to this story on the blog in the past. It was going by the name CHASING CALLI when I mentioned it in the spring. I have since changed the name (again) to FIGHT AND FLIGHT, but I'm still not sure that's the best title for the story that lives inside. But that's the other issue--I can't seem to flush out the story.
Those of you who aren't writers might be shocked when you hear the next part of this tale.
When it was titled FINE TUNE (back when I started it in 2013), I got to the 20k mark before I couldn't figure out where to go. So I stopped. Last fall (2015), I took another crack at it, adding a second perspective and flashing back and forth from past to present. But I hated the voice of Calli, the female main character, so I rewrote it again solely from the POV of her boyfriend, Liam, and changed the name to CHASING CALLI. I got to the 40k mark that time (I know, right?) before I realized that it's Calli's story--she has to be telling it. So I quit for a while. I needed to find Calli's voice. And in order to do that, I needed to read. And trust me, I read.
It was Memorial Day weekend when I finally figured out what I needed to do. I couldn't keep flashing back and forth so much--the story was spanning the entirety of high school, and it was too much. There was too much plot and not enough character development. So I downsized. I squeezed the essence of the story into a single school year (more or less) and I flushed out the character of Calli by reading books narrated by teenage girls (thanks Sarah Dessen, you're a lifesaver). Now that it's the fourth time that I'm trying to tell this story about Calli and Liam, I think I can finally get to the end.
So now I'm here, in early July, at the 32k mark. I'm ready to push to the end. I have a Camp NaNoWriMo goal and a week-long vacation ahead of me where I literally only plan to write and read (although my husband is insisting that I also snorkel and stuff). Last week, on one of my lunch breaks at work, I mapped out the rest of the story. Today, after I was done with work, I revised my map a bit and added two extra chapters. Now I just have to write them.
By the end of July, I fully intend to have a rough draft of FIGHT AND FLIGHT, which may be called something else by the end. Or maybe I'll leave it. I haven't decided. In any case, I'm writing again. I'm into it. I love it. I'm excited about it. And now I'm going to stop writing here on this blog and go back to the writing that counts for Camp.
Until next time,