Going Back

When I wrote my NaNoWriMo novel in November, I didn’t want it to end because I was enjoying it so much, so I decided to keep on writing it every day in 500-word segments. I felt like the characters had a lot more to say than they could possibly say in just the month of November alone.

So for the past month or so I’ve continued along with those characters and settings, writing the story more or less as a soap opera, with different scenarios and dramatic incidents happening.

Then I realized when the entire story ought to end. It wouldn’t make sense to have the story continue past that point, since it seemed so final when I was thinking about it. So now what I’m planning to do is stop moving forward with writing the story. I’m going to look at what I have written and I’m going to organize it so that the story builds up toward that end point. I’m going to be cutting out quite a few characters and getting rid of some useless scenes. In other words, I’m going to revise much earlier than I had intended to.

Sometimes it’s necessary to stop what you’re doing and go back, retool and revise, then start again. It might seem counterproductive since you’re not moving ahead, but there’s no sense in hacking through the foliage at a dead end when you could double back and find the hidden path you hadn’t taken before. (Weird analogy, I know!)

8 thoughts on “Going Back

  1. I have a writing question for you… I don’t usually set a word count when I write because I don’t know if I’ll have twenty minutes or one minute to write when I have a four year old tugging at my leg to play most of the day…But I have an opportunity to have three days to myself in a few weeks. If you had three entire days to devote to writing and working on a project, what would you recommend for a word count? I want to get a lot accomplished but I don’t want to say 200000 words a day and burn myself out. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help! 🙂

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    1. I would say 6000 per day because that’s personally what I would do… but it’s different. Some people can only handle 1000 words a day, and some people can handle 10,000. It depends on the project too. It’s a really subjective question… but I’d go with something like double the number of words you write in a “normal” day. Or double the number of hours/minutes you write in a normal day… something like that. Hope that helped.

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  2. It is AWESOME that you know where and how to end the story . . . it makes it so much easier to know what to leave in and what to leave out.

    “If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Road Will Get You There.” –The Cheshire Cat, Alice In Wonderland

    Good luck!

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