|As dull as tarnished silver|
So, about that ROW80 check-in. I did some writing this week, so that's really good. Usually by this point in the post-NaNo scheme of things I've stalled out. This week, I still wrote on my story. But I also had to admit something to myself.
I have read and studied lots about novel planning, outlining, writing in general. I have never actually gone all the way through any of the systems. I always decide at the last minute that I really need to get on that planning for NaNo, so then I skim my way through some plotting book or an article or two, and then I do the bare bones minimum before I run out of time.
Why is this especially important right now? Because while I was doing NaNo this year I was making a point to examine my writing style. And I found that the days my writing really flew, the words flowing fast and the phrases coming easily, were the days when I had a good plan for the scene at hand. The times when all I had was a vague notion--"J goes to T's family home with him"--were slow and clunky. They were much harder to write and really not terribly fun.
I never planned out every single detail of a scene, but the ones that went well had notes about things that I wanted to have happen in them and a general order of what would happen when. So clearly I need to spend more time on my planning because that's what works for me.
Add to all of this the book I'm reading, K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success. She recommends spending a couple of months really working on the outline before you write. And I can see the sense of this. I clearly do better work when I have a plan. So what's the problem?
I'm not able or willing to let go of actually working on the writing. I said I would do 65,000 words by December 22. I planned to have the first draft finished by the end of the month. If I turn to just planning now, I won't reach those goals. Also, I'm worried about stopping the writing. What if I work on the planning then can't get back into the writing? What if stopping to work on planning stops me completely?
I'm thinking of compromising, doing some writing, then a little planning, then more writing, and so on. But is this my best choice? I don't know. I also know that I'm very tired today and getting more tired by the moment, so I may need to save this decision for tomorrow. For now, I'm going to wrap this up, hope it isn't too incoherent, and drag myself to bed.