Novel Progress #4 (Lots of Changes)

So much happened over the course of the last week with regards to my story that I’ve struggled with what to share in this week’s Novel Progress. I feel like this has happened the past few weeks since making writing a priority. I think this is because I’m planning so much at the same time as I’m writing. I actually had to revisit last week’s Novel Progress #3 (Progress on the Hook) to see exactly what I last told you about the story so I’d know where to start this week.

Story Direction

This weekend I developed a more clear direction for the plot of this story that is nothing like what I described in last week’s post. Last week I had decided on a Hook that was ultimately discarded this week as I realized I just wasn’t able to bring it to life and it was stumping my writing progress. It’s kind of funny how I decided to scrap the idea and so I’ll share it with you.

I had been inspired for some reason to write an end scene between my protagonist and her guardian. In this scene, we were seeing the protagonist after running away on an adventure and coming back a changed person and how she and her guardian are able to make amends before the the guardian dies. In writing this scene, I was able to discover something interesting about the guardian which would set the two characters at odds in the beginning of the novel. So it helped me decide on a better event to kick off the story that would establish their complicated relationship.

I have currently written about 350 words of this new beginning and it’s going well. I’m liking the words I have and hope I can keep up the momentum. I’d like to see myself finished with the scenes I have in mind before next Wednesday, but realistically I’ll continue to jump around.

✃ Discarding Words

The most significant development in my writing this week was my decision to start discarding words. I’m not deleting scenes or info dumps that might become useful later, but I did feel like I needed a blank slate to start from after establishing a different story direction in which I only had words that were not distracting from the story I want to tell.

In my Scrivener project, I created a folder called Displaced Scenes where everything I write and might decide doesn’t ultimately fit into the most current story I’m writing can be placed for future reference. It includes most of the writing I did over the past few weeks. It was little sad to see these words taken out of the main manuscript, but I feel like it was necessary. Some of these scenes I still like and were important for me to write, but I just don’t see them fitting into this novel. There are two scenes I know would be good material for future books in the series.

✓ Revised Goal

A couple weeks ago I announced that I wanted to finish the first draft of this novel with at least 60,000 words by April 1st. After my latest plot revisions and further plot developments, I’ve decided to not think about a specific word count goal and revise my goal to be to specifically to just finish a coherent story. Meaning a story with the beginning, middle, and end. I want to have the most important scenes and story arcs in place so that my main task past April is including more detail as I edit.

End Note

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s installment of Novel Progress! I know it can be hard to keep up the motivation to write, and one of my favorite things to do to get pumped is to read or listen to others talk about their process. Just this morning I was marathoning Katytastic’s NaNoWriMo 2014 vlogs (here’s a link to her playlist). I feel like it’s always going to be a struggle to make myself write. But one thing I remembered this week that the story will come to life through the process of writing.

If you’re hesitating to write because you don’t know what needs to happen yet, but you can discover it as you write if you’re paying attention. I find that writing small details like clothing or setting can help me visualize the scene and often trigger characters’ memories and help me move the story along. So usually the hardest part of writing, and most things in life, is just getting started and not letting fear of failure stop you from trying.

Thank you for reading!
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