Nano is only ten short days away from being over, and I've been neck-and-neck with the required word count all month.
I was initially nervous about writing this novel so quickly, but there's something about hitting the 35K mark that boosts my confidence. If I can get this far, there's no reason I can't finish!
I've always been fascinated by the writing process of other authors. What initially sparked their ideas? Which chapter did they write first? What major changes did they make?
After doing Nano three times and experimenting with different techniques, I've figured out my own writing process. I'm curious as to how many people do it the same way.
First, I make as thorough of an outline as I can. This hopefully includes a chapter-by-chapter summary. Next, I write the first chapter and try to continue chronologically.
This almost never works.
Why? Because a novel is rarely complete in my head when I first start writing it. (Last year was a glorious exception.) There are always a few holes here and there that I want to skip over.
At the same time, there are certain scenes that jump out at me. They're vivid, insistent, and want to be written right now. So I might be stuck on chapter five while chapter thirty is begging for my attention.
I don't want to leave gaping plot holes in my novel by bouncing back and forth. What do I do?
I realized it's okay to have holes in my novel because I don't have holes in my outline. As long as I follow the outline (while at the same time giving myself freedom to change it), I can write whichever chapter I want.
Every morning I open my outline and skim through it until something jumps out at me. Once something does, I write it down as quickly as I can before the plot bunny goes away. Then I go back to the outline and do it again.
This way, my novel emerges somewhat like a puzzle. You don't start at one end of a puzzle and work your way to the other; you put together the easiest pieces first. It's sporadic, but you have the cover of the box to guide you, and it all comes together in the end.
What is your writing process?