I finished this MyNovWriMo just shy of 15,000 words or approximately 500 words / day. To be fair, that was without writing almost anything in the last week. So, what have I accomplished, what have I learned?
- First off, given my lifestyle and interests, 500 words / day is a comfortable, convenient pace for me.
- Second, I seem to be lacking in experience… or something, with regards to my Gateway novel, as this is at least the third time I’ve tried working it only to be hit by major plotting issues. So it seems time to shelve this again, until I get more stories under my belt.
- Third, the plotting issue with this novel seems to arise from a plethoral of good world building and character ideas, but a paucity of plot ideas. It’s a story I’ve tried to work organically, and have so far failed with. The other novels I’ve completed (at least first drafts that read coherently) were all outlined at least in rough. So I’ve come to the conclusion the I’m one of those writers that needs to generate at least a general outline, along with a detailed understanding of character and setting.
So, considering these issues, in combination with some techniques I’ve learned from a few Coursera creativity and innovation courses I’ve taken recently, I feel that my way forward for future novels is to take a month or two to develop setting and characters and, most importantly, produce several iterations of story outlines. Each iteration should, ideally, be passed around my writing group for feedback. Once a good outline is achieved, with a strong idea of the characters, I can begin writing.
In order to generate my outlines, I need to practice breaking the story into smaller segments, developing those, then work on connecting them well. Probably this is a common approach by most professional writers and I suppose my having to analyze things in this manner is a sign of coming to the game fairly late.
Ah well, better late than never. You can’t score if you’re not in the game.
Insight and longevity.