Wednesday, 17 October 2012

RTW: A Head Start

Road Trip Wednesday is a 'Blog Carnival,' where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing-or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


This week's topic:

Are you doing NaNoWriMo, or have you ever? Does having a deadline inspire you?

I’ve never done NaNoWriMo and I’m not officially participating this time, although I do plan to dive into the second book in my trilogy very soon. The fact that November happens to be a couple weeks away isn’t really a factor in that decision, rather it just happens to be good timing.

Lately I’ve been working nonstop on revisions.  I’m making good progress (at least I think I am), and while I want to stay focused on trimming down and sprucing up book one, I don’t want to lose momentum for actual writing. The other day I jotted down a story detail for my sequel, and it led into ten pages of notes. Probably a good sign that I need to start delving into book two, and by November I might be able to devote some time to it. Until recently, I always struggled to get the story out of my head and onto the page, computer screen, whatever. It took a lot of discipline (Butt in Chair…er…on couch) to finish the first draft of my WIP and to be perfectly honest, it’s like I’m in withdrawal now because all that discipline sort of turned writing into an addiction—a healthy one of course.

This whole plunge into book two directly plays into the second question in this week’s topic: Does having a deadline inspire you? Heck no! The idea of a deadline terrifies me. We’re talking enough to induce writer’s block. This is one aspect of being an author I would definitely find difficult, although I'm sure it's something I'd get used to. Maybe book one will never end up on a bookstore shelf, but on the off chance it does, I want to be prepared. I’ll take whatever head start I can get on book two.

Deadlines aren’t a reality at this point though, so the real reason I want to work on book two is because I’m eager to keep the story going. This is the one that clicked for me. I love my characters and I can’t wait to see where the plot takes them next. Okay, I’ll admit, I already know where the plot is taking them next --excessive planning is all part of that head start I was talking about--but I’m looking forward to seeing the story come together, even if it’s just for my own entertainment.

So while I’m not officially participating in NaNoWriMo,  and I still need to work on revisions, I will be putting pen to paper and fingers to keyboard to try and get out a nice chunk of writing. It does provide some motivation knowing that others will be frantically scribbling away at the same time.

And on that happy note, I’m off to do some more revising…

14 comments:

  1. That's really good that your motivated by your passion and love for writing rather than deadlines. I'm motivated by my passion but the deadlines generally just kick my butt into doing it sooner! 20 pages of notes in a quick jotting session is pretty awesome too! Sounds like you have plenty of writing related things to keep you occupied in November as is!

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    1. When I need a good butt kicking I just call my sister and she gets me motivated again. I can totally see how deadlines are a good thing, even if they're self-imposed. And while the idea of a deadline scares me, a little fear when it comes to getting things done might not be bad. :)

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  2. I kind of like deadlines because they force me to get my butt in gear and finish things. Otherwise, I just kind of allow myself to waste time and then nothing gets accomplished. That's why I've started forcing myself into a writing routine/schedule. For me, NaNo is more about finding the motivation to finish what I've started. I won't be working on something from scratch (which is what you're supposed to do), but since I don't plan on trying to 'win' this doesn't really matter.

    I think it's great that you're plunging into Book 2. Whatever works, right? I like the idea of revising the first project while digging into the second (which is really part of the first project in this case). It allows you to do the technical stuff while still letting the creative side of you have its fun. :)

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    1. I think routines are definitely important to establish, even if they happen late at night like mine do. You make a good point about balancing the technical stuff with the creativity. It would be easy to fizzle out on writing if you never allowed yourself to write something fresh and new. I suppose doing revisions on a first book while writing the second might even be a good way to maintain continuity in the story.

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  3. I'm with you! I'll definitely be writing in November, but I don't know about NaNo. Good luck with your next book--when the notes just pour out of you, that's definitely a good sign. And I'm with Jaime, I like the idea of revising and writing at the same time.

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    1. Yeah, I'm thinking revising and writing at the same time is probably a good way to go. I don't want to get rusty on the actual writing part and while I'm picking through book one it'll help me keep certain plot details fresh in my mind for book two. I feel like you guys have given me permission to jump into the sequel. Thanks!

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  4. And on that happy note, I’m off to do some more revising…

    This sentence makes me happy because revisions make me happy. I hope you get lots and lots done in November, NaNo or not. Writing book 2 and revising sounds like a ton of fun!

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    1. It is kind of fun to polish your story up, isn't it? And likewise, I hope you get lots done in November too :)

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  5. All the best to you with the revisions and the writing, Erin! I would agree that if you have the drive and the momentum to get on with writing, then you don't need a deadline. I could do with one at the moment with my WIP, so I'm glad for NaNoWriMo. :)

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    1. Whatever works, right? I should probably have someone impose some deadlines on me just so I get over my fear of them lol. Happy to hear that NaNoWriMo fell at a good time for you. Good luck finishing your WIP!

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  6. Wow, it's awesome that you're so excited about this project :) If you can do it without deadlines, more power to you...I think without deadlines I would just lapse into a TV coma at some point. Enjoy your revisions and Part 2 drafting!

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    1. Oh man, I hear you on the TV coma. We haven't been watching much during the week lately and I think our PVR is going to explode it's so full. You know, come to think of it, I wasn't entirely without a deadline for my WIP. Jaime recently came to visit and I worked hard to finish by the time she got here. I suppose that's a deadline of sorts, just not a really official one. I will definitely try to enjoy revising/drafting and I hope you enjoy NaNo :)

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  7. Ooo... I hope revisions are going well??? I'm about to dive into another round myself...

    And I love NaNo... deadlines are awesome... I need them to push me!

    I hope you're feeling the inspiration today! Good luck! <3

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    1. I think revisions are going well. I'm managing to trim down my monster of a story anyway and right now that's the top priority. I'm definitely feeling the inspiration today! Hope you are too!

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