It’s rare when ideas start flowing and you just can’t stop it.
For the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been writing enough to get me going with my story. I spent a lot of time reading and rereading the first 3 chapters and editing the 3 chapters that came after that. Something didn’t feel right. I was clearly satisfied with the first 3, but the other chapters just fell flat.
And then yesterday happened. I sat down late afternoon, doing the same thing I’ve been doing for days now—reading the first three chapters. Suddenly, new ideas started flowing in. I started to write and I couldn’t stop writing. Things began to make sense. Everything seemed clearer. I ended up rewriting the last few chapters.
Today, I’ve spent most of the day writing and it feels good. It’s been a while since I’ve had a moment of like this, where writing almost feels like I’m reading a good book. I can’t help but want to keep turning the page.
I’m making progress. Slowly, but I’m making progress. So far, I’ve got 6 chapters. I wrote 2 chapters since I last blogged, which is better than nothing. I keep changing my mind about certain things, but I’m pushing myself to just keep writing. I find myself editing a lot. I can’t help it. It’s just the way I write. I can’t move on to the next chapter unless I know the other ones worked.
Aside from writing my second novel, I’ve also been working on a personal memoir/essay that I’d like to enter in a competition for Writers Digest. I’ve done a couple of drafts already. I just need to edit it. I’ve got a couple of weeks left before it’s due. That’s all for now…
Wow, it’s been 6 days since I last blogged. I would’ve preferred to keep writing but I had my radiosurgery last week. It was an interesting experience. And while the frame was being screwed on to my head (yeah, I’m not kidding), the only thing I could think of was writing my next chapter.
The next day, after my outpatient procedure, I got up at 6 am and went in front of my computer and started writing. I had to. It felt right.
I realized that writing isn’t just something I love to do. It is something I need to do.
Today was quite productive. I wrote a poem in the morning, edited a few things in my book and ended up writing two full chapters. In 5 days, I have written 4 chapters I am pretty pleased about.
I’d love to write more but I’m exhausted. It’s been a long day.
I wrote so little today. I would write all day if I could. But there is so much going on and sometimes the only time I can write is when I make time to do it. This was why I wanted to do this writing challenge—finishing my first draft in 100 days. I knew it was something I had to commit to and it would force me to make time to write.
I must admit it’s been tough to write the last couple of days because I keep thinking about my upcoming radiosurgery for my trigeminal neuralgia. It’s not that I’m even nervous about the actual procedure or the recovery time, but I’m just anxious to feel no more pain. Anyway, I won’t bore you with the details.
Back to writing…
It’s really late. I haven’t written much today. Been busy doing chores and catching up with sleep.
I wrote a little in the afternoon. I wasn’t satisfied with the results. It felt like I was just writing to write with no real direction. So I went back and looked through my old files and came across an incomplete outline I wrote a year ago. It only covered chapters 1 through 8, but it was enough to get me back on track with my story.
I’ve mentioned before that it took me a while to finish my first book because I was distracted and I didn’t set a deadline. But now I wonder, could it also be because I didn’t have an outline?
An outline never crossed my mind when I wrote my first novel. I simply typed as ideas flowed. I knew how I wanted the story to begin, the conflict and the resolution, but that was all I had. The rest of the story created itself as I wrote. It was exciting that way. I surprised myself. But now that I’m writing my second book and have a set deadline, it feels appropriate to have an outline. A guide. A map. Something to keep me focused and organized.
I’m beginning to think outlines and deadlines have to go together. But does having no deadline necessarily mean you don’t need an outline? I guess it all depends.
I think I will spend the rest of the night completing my incomplete outline. I hope following one will not make it less exciting to write. I hope to still surprise myself in the process.
What about you? Do you believe in outlines?
It took me a while to fall asleep last night because I kept thinking about my protagonist. I knew what I wanted the story to be about, but I knew so little about my main character. What is she like and what makes her unique? After contemplating for hours, I fell asleep and woke up with the same question. It was really bugging me, so I decided to revisit what I had written yesterday. Hoping for something to come to me.
I always write and edit as I go along. It makes it easier for me to move forward when I know what I had just written worked and made sense.
In the middle of editing, my protagonist came to life. It was suddenly clear—what she looked like, who she was and why she was the way she was. I defined her. Because of this, I was able to rewrite and edit my quick draft from yesterday. And because of that, I can move forward.
Now back to writing…
Day 1 is about to end and I’m still trying to write as much as I can. Before it goes into day 2, I wanted to blog about what I have so far.
While making lunch today, I had all these thoughts about how I wanted the first chapter to begin. I didn’t jot anything down, so by the time I started writing, which was not until 6 pm, things were a bit scattered. I was able to squeeze in about 700 words right before dinner. I haven’t had a chance to edit anything yet, but I really need to. There are quite a few things I need to revisit.
Today felt a bit like rushed writing. Hope to squeeze in more time tomorrow so I can carefully craft the story.
Despite the mess, I’m glad I started writing.