I wrote this piece while I was at work last night. Evidently my sleep deprived brain thought that was close enough. When I got home, I ate, watched an episode of Criminal Minds and went to sleep without scheduling the post.
My goal of getting my chapters in order by the end of June did not get met. From the look of things, I may not be finished until the end of July, maybe the middle of August. I’m not real torn up about it. I’ve made huge progress and learned a lot about how to do this. My largest lesson has been about organization.
When I started this last November during NaNoWriMo I was really in the dark about how to go about things. I had index cards scattered across my coffee table and multiple files on my computer about all my characters. My brain refused to cooperate with the idea of structure so I was just typing out every possible scene for each character as fast as I could. Now that I’m about halfway through piecing my chapters together in a form that makes sense, I can see that I needed to structure myself a lot sooner.
Last week I bought a little program called NewNovelist that cost me about $30. I was eyeing Scrivener too, which was only $10 more and seems to be the favorite of authors everywhere. This late in the game I was really interested in getting myself more organized than giving myself a learning headache, so I went with NewNovelist. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy with it. Once I got my notes, characters, places and chapters ported over from Google Docs, I was pretty pleased with myself. Everything is now right at my fingertips. Some of the information the program gives me is nothing but gibberish to my eyes but the ability to have all my resources just a mouse click away without having to open multiple browser windows is really nice. I may have another look at Scrivener for the next book though. It offers some customization that I currently don’t have.
The other big lesson I learned this month is about timelines. Flying by the seat of my pants with that has not been effective. As it turns out, my lead character is moving along much slower than everyone else. I need to go back and bring him up to speed in order to get all my events flowing smoothly and in the correct order. Had I bothered with an outline (something I hate) I probably would have spotted that problem right away and corrected it. This doesn’t mean I’ll be outlining in the future but I will definitely be paying closer attention to the timeline.
Happy, productive writing everyone. I wish you all the best!