So yes. I had to adjust my expectations during my “big week” of writing/revising the NaNoWriMo novel. This was one of the few times I had 8+ hours a day to work on a book and I envisioned myself cranking
through the hard copy, making notes to myself and finishing in a day, leaving the rest of the week to input those notes and possibly begin the next revision soon after.
Uh, not even close
First of all, I kept getting stuck, which makes total sense. This is a frickin’ first draft and not just a first draft, but a NaNoWriMo first draft, which was beautiful and messy all at once. So of course there would be a lot of unusable content, but also—surprising—some really good, usable content.
I needed to stop and think about things, to decide what direction a scene or chapter needed to go, to scribble arrows because a scene really belonged about ten pages before its current location or thirty pages ahead or I need this new scene and that new scene and that one too. It was painstaking and slow and not at all what I had envisioned sitting in my little apartment, staring out at the beautiful harbor. (I wrote at that glass table you see in the picture.)
Not to mention my brain needed a break and I had to catch up on “A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix. 🙂
So I adjusted
I decided my goal for the week was going to be getting through the hard copy. That was it. No “inputting changes,” which really would be writing completely new scenes, moving scenes to another location, removing what wasn’t needed and more. I just needed to wrap my mind around the story as a whole.
And I did that. All the way through. Woop!
And then I did started revising. I didn’t start at the end like I thought I would. I started at the beginning, revising the opening scene because I needed to start at a place that I knew was working and make it better. That was fun and gave me the confidence to work on other sections.
Progress, no matter how “small,” is awesome. I celebrate it.