I’m also really pleased to have got to know my characters, so hopefully no more day trips to Tangent Land. Although never say never! Sometimes it’s good to let your characters act a little out of left field, and I say, hey—let them sabotage their own lives as much as they want if it’s adding to the conflict, pace and plot—just so long as they don’t sabotage your life in the process. All the angst, all the second-guessing, all the panic about not getting your character arc right is held at bay when you’re writing fast, and usually means you have a lot of thinking to do during the second draft.
Some writers are happiest writing that way. Letting the plot develop completely through the characters actions and then, second draft, they figure out the theme and the truth they’re trying to convey and make sure it’s threaded through the entire manuscript.
I still prefer to get the setup mostly right first draft and then use the second draft to layer in more depth, more atmosphere…more everything, really. It’s a slower write first time around but works for me.
This year #NaNoWriMo has been a strange mix—trying to write fast whenever I got the time but stalling or hanging back because I didn’t have all the facts at my fingertips. Note to self: next time I do #NaNoWriMo, I either need to have done more research into my characters’ careers, or, I need to write about something I know inside-out, or I need for their jobs to not be important to internal or external plot!
I’d done a little research prior to starting this WIP. Mostly to see if what I was thinking about was feasible for my characters and where they were in their lives but it turns out I could have done more thinking about all those little details too. Turns out I really hate writing things like, “Insert fantastically brilliant play-on-words name for company here” or “XXX”! Every time I had to do this I lost my flow and did way too much of this: One of my many works of art under the series title “Procrastination”!
During the last four weeks here are some of the things I’ve researched for this WIP:
Apartments in Hoxton, London
How to brew beer.
How to start, finance, equip and promote a microbrewery.
Wedding cakes: how to make the perfect chiffon sponge.
Domestic kitchens versus commercial kitchens.
The latest trending wedding colours/themes/cake decorations.
And…how to make the perfect margarita—okay, obviously I already knew this one!!!
Hmm…it seems my research has mostly fallen into two areas and no doubt there’ll be a lot more undertaken while completing this WIP…possibly along the lines of drinking beer or margaritas and eating cake!
Congratulations to all of you have taken part in #NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve experienced some real writing ups and downs this month but to be honest that’s what writing is all about. I’m really pleased with where I ended up and as an extra bonus I’ve got back into blogging again! Watch this space for my usual author spotlights, interviews, and book news and hopefully a few more personal posts on life and writing.
Happy countdown to the Holidays!