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Poll!

Hi y'all! I'm doing some research for a blog I'm writing and would love to hear your answers to these questions:

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by that first draft of a book? What strategies do you have to keep yourself on task?

Thanks in advance for your help! I can't wait to hear your responses.

14 comments:

  1. I occasionally feel overwhelmed when I can't seem to find the time I need to get it done. I set myself a daily goal of 2,000 words, and some days it's like pulling teeth. Though I'm not a plotter by nature and don't adore lists and outlines like some do, I have found it helpful to make myself a bullet list of things that need to happen in the next few chapters. I find it motivates me to be able to see them, to add to or subtract as things clarify in my li'l brain, and to CROSS THEM OFF! ;-) It also helps to give myself permission to just WRITE and worry later about getting it all right. I like to have a polished first draft, but sometimes I have to settle for plowing through.

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    1. Creating a bulleted list is a great idea, Roseanna! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I write a short synopsis. Then expand that to several pages. Then I start a new doc for the WIP. I copy/paste the long synopsis. Break the synopsis into topical paragraphs. Each paragraph gets its own page with a page break. That shows me how many base chapters I have. I expand each of those paragraphs into a chapter. There's my rough draft. I usually discover a few more chapters to solve a plot issue as I write the rough. But I'm left with a solid synopsis that needs minor editing for a proposal and the WIP. This process developed over a couple of years. Sometimes I write in different areas of the book because I know the overview.
    Angie

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    1. Angela, that sounds like such a great strategy! Thanks for sharing! Sounds like you're a plotter! :)

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  3. I get overwhelmed with my first draft if I haven't outlined the book sufficiently. My first book I plotted out, the second was SOTP. I PREFER plotting in advance, but my life has been so hectic I didn't have time to plot the second.

    My key to not quitting is setting weekly word count goals. I've met my weekly word count goal every week this year except for the last two weeks (I'm fighting to avoid slipping into burnout mode this month.)

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    1. It's interesting how much different plotting vs. seat-of-the-pants approaches really are. I've found that with each book I write, the topic changes the way I do all the pre-planning stuff.

      Weekly word count goals sound like a great strategy! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. It always amazes me how the Lord KNOWS. I wrote my debut novel in a week-and-a-half...over 13 years ago. Then put it aside and focused on raising my family. I feel the Lord honored my commitment by keeping that passion for writing in me even while I was doing other things, and by opening the "right" doors of His choosing in His timing, not mine. About three years ago, I cranked out the rest of this book series (there's 11 books - the the third published in April this year). The stories couldn't flow out of my imagination and onto the page fast enough, but it was total SOTP. In little over a year, they were all written. Then the first was published. In answer to your question, I was never overwhelmed, but it's the editing phase that's taking much longer. I'm learning to love it, and it's perhaps as important as the actual writing. I'm learning what readers like and don't like and I've learned so much about the actual writing process that I'm applying those concepts to the rough drafts. I keep on task because I want to share these God-given stories with others. I'm so blessed to be able to write for His glory! Many blessings to you.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, JoAnn! So interesting to hear your perspective on the first draft versus the editing stage, because I tend to be the opposite... much more comfortable with editing. I'm such a perfectionist that I sometimes find myself killing off my first draft. Have a wonderful day!

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  5. I write adventures & mysteries for kids. When my children were small, I told them lots of original stories at bedtime. Today I write adventures & mysteries for readers 8 - 13. I don't use an outline. What I do is tell myself the story into a recorder. Those notes are typed and filed until the first draft is finished. This process gives me the main character, the beginning, middle, and end. What I don't know are all the other details and characters who will show up. I put lots of props around that relate to the story, and play mood appropriate music for each scene. I never start a chapter I won't finish, and at the end of each writing session, I scribble onto a post-it-note, "next." Under that I jot down what would happen next, if I were to stay in the chair and begin the next chapter. I never read any of the first draft until it's finished. All of these things combine to help me keep moving forward. Writer's block has never been a problem as a result.
    Books for Boys Blog http://booksandboys.blogspot.com
    My Youtube Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/Maxbooks100

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    1. Interesting, Max! Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I wrote the first draft of my novel, The Belle of Peachville, during ACFW's Novel Track. I had 7,000 words January 1, and made a goal of 10,000 more. By the second week of February, I had 80,000 and the first draft. Novel Track recommends you write as fast as you can without stopping to edit. It's always good when you have the first draft and then you go through and change and edit. I probably would have never finished had I not done what they advise. It's 100,000 words now and has been edited four times, and more in some chapters. I'm ready to send it out into the world.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Ada! I have found the same thing to be true in my own writing... if I get into the editing stage too early, it keeps me from writing the rest of the draft.

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  7. Sometimes I do feel overwhelmed with getting the first draft done. How I keep going is I make an outline before I start and use it as my guide. If I feel bored with a particular scene, I just let it sit for a while and write a different one. Doing the ACFW Novel Track Writing program really helps keep me going when I want to walk away.

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    1. Seems the Novel Track Writing is very helpful! What I'm hearing from everyone is that it helps to provide accountability in a situation where we otherwise feel isolated... just us an our laptops! Thanks for sharing your approach about outlining your novel, Sherri, and thanks for stopping by!

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