Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beginnings...

Well, ladies and gents, I started my novel today (well, technically yesterday; I really ought to be in bed)!

I have a grand total of 1,469 words, two scenes, and one (very short) chapter. The writing is going slow, but I really like what I have so far, which is exciting. :-) I'm expecting to be able to pick up the pace a bit once I get into the groove of the characters/world/voice.

Projected word count: 60,000-75,000 words. Er, hopefully. According to my outline, I'm going to have twenty-six chapters, none of which I expect to be any shorter than 3k, most of which I expect to be longer than that (with the exception of the first chapter). I did a little math, and concluded that 75k is a rather conservative figure. But you'll have that.

At any rate, this has to be some kind of record for me, from initial idea to first draft stage—the outline took all of a week and a half! I'm hoping to have the rough draft completed by the end of February, a sort of off-season do-it-yourself NaNoWriMo (which, by the way, I still totally love even though I kinda failed at it last year). I shall keep you posted. :-)

Here's to crazy novel ideas and awesome characters who invade your brain!

7 comments:

Anne M Leone said...

I've been following your pre-writing stages (outlining, snowflaking, what have you) with interest on twitter. DO you always go through the same stages when you start something new?

Joanna R. Smith said...

If it's just a short story (which I hardly ever write as the words "short" and "story" rarely go together in my brain :-)), I'll jot down a reaaaaallly basic beginning-middle-end type of outline and dive into writing.

For novels, I've learned that I'm quite good at writing myself into a corner, and the Snowflake outline helps me have a really specific idea of where I'm going so I don't get stuck. I've used the Snowflake for four completed drafts, one failed draft (this past NaNo), and my current WIP.

That said, I haven't tried NOT Snowflaking a novel since my pre-NaNoWriMo days. I thought about just plunging into my current WIP sans outline, but figured it was best to err on the side of caution.

So I guess my answer to your question is... Yes. Mostly. :-)

Anne M Leone said...

Thanks for the answer, Joanna! How great that you've found a method that seems to work so reliably for you.

Joanna R. Smith said...

Of course, Anne, thanks for your question! :-)

Laura Pauling said...

I'm finishing up revising and then off to query land. But I will soon be at the beginning too. I'm a total planner. All I've got in my head is a premise and an attitude. I think I'll using snowflake to move things along when I get there. Enjoy the fresh writing!!!

nathaliemvondo said...

I admire how organized you are. Happy writing! :)

Joanna R. Smith said...

Laura, good luck with finishing your revisions, and double luck with querying! How exciting!! Hope the Snowflake is useful for you if you decide to give it a try. :-)

nathalie, this is the ONLY area of my life that I even attempt organizing. :-)