ROW80-4 -03/11/17 -Not Quite Wednesday
ROW80-4 -22/11/17 -NaNoWriNotAtAll?

ROW80-4 -04/11/17 -NaNoWriLess

I think I need a Plan B. I've completed several (6?) NaNoWriMo's, but this time my writing is sooooo slow. I'm just past 4400 words, and it's Day 5. In past years I've outlined a plot, some Turning Points, and key characters. I'd also have an idea for the twist that started it all off, and the one that wrapped it up. No problem, away I'd go. But the subsequent editing -yikes! Major surgery, and seems to take forever. Depressing. 

I skipped last November. I did more editing of some rough drafts over the last year, as well as more reading and learning about how to write. This year I had a good idea for a story and got positive initial feedback and ideas from friends. I worked on it for all of October, even at my girlfriend's place. She has an MFA, experience as an editor, and is a poet, so we worked out several long-term goals and short-term objectives for my protagonist, as well as my antagonist. Plus a number of arcs - character, romance, technology, dream powers, etc. No scene outlines - we ran out of time. I've been outlining those as I go this time, deciding whether each is a 'Scene' (goal, conflict, disaster) or the following 'Sequel' (reaction, dilemma, decision). And as I write I'm ensuring each one works toward one or more goals, and addressing some of the arcs.   

Yes, it's contrary to the NaNoRules, but sometimes, if something isn't working, you have to change the rules. All this structure, goals, arcs, was something I always added to my rough drafts, after the fact, and resulting in major hacking and slashing all over the story. I'd usually get tired of it all at some point and quit. And the story would often show those patches, not flowing as it should. 

Hence, Plan B. I'll plan/write/edit for at least 2 hours a day, preferably early so I get it over with while I'm fresh. My speed may improve, as I get used to incorporating more structure and elements in this draft, but I'm looking for quality, not quantity. I want to become a better writer, not just a more prolific one. 


  • Writing -goal - new - Two hours or more a day. Done today!
  • Write better - See above. Also, keep up with writing blogs - Done- again. 
  • Publishing -nothing.
  • Reading - Guardian and New Yorker are sitting next to my laptop - waiting ;-) Several library books on the go too. 
  • Enjoy life - No pubs since I got back. Costs me time and money, and adds calories. I need a break. Still enjoying my new game, Spintires: MudRunner
  • Stay healthy - 3k steps a day, eat well. More like 2k, but I'll keep trying. Less salt too, no processed meats especially, for my lunchtime wrap. I did a pork roast, sliced it up, and made pea soup from the bone. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I think your plan B is a great idea! I've always been a pantster, but found the same as you -- later editing work required endless slashing and burning. Now I try to think a few scenes ahead, make sure that it all fits with the overall arc at least, and has some turning points.
I try to end each writing session with a problem to be solved or a question to be answered next time, so that I have something to do as soon as I sit down the next day, and don't dither over what to write.

Denise D. Young

I love this: "I want to become a better writer, not just a more prolific one." That is basically the theme of 2017 for me. I've realized that I write better stories when I allow them to unfold at a natural pace. Some stories just pour out, and others seem to be a trickle. I just have to allow the creative process to happen without forcing it. For me, this results in fewer page-one rewrites. I'm glad you're taking the time to figure out the process that works for you. Good luck!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)