After eleven years of writing, two books published and one short story, I’m finally taking myself seriously. This past week I’ve been working through Candace Havens’ Fast Draft. The goal is to write five thousand words a day. Over two weeks (which means you get the weekends to bank words), you end up with a 50k novel. Or at least a beginning of a novel, if you write longer.
I’ve done NaNoWriMo. One of those books I will never look at again. The other is book 3 in my Caine Brothers series, and needs serious rewrites which I will be getting to soon. This , Candace Havens’ process, however, made me feel like a real writer.
I gave myself an out. I started back to work last Monday, after major surgery and being off for six weeks. So I said to myself, okay. Three thousand words a day. You can do that. And every weekday last week, I got up and wrote words before I left my house to go to my job. When I could, I wrote AT the job. Then came home, and wrote some more, to make sure I hit my 3k goal. Last Thursday, the Creeping Crud got me and I only wrote a total of 800 some-odd words and I was done. Needed to go to bed, drugged out on Nyquil. Friday I came back and managed over 3k words.
Saturday and Sunday, I kicked ass and hit over 5k both days. At this point, I might add, I don’t know what the hell I’m writing. The setup I’d first envisioned is ALL WRONG and I’ll need to rewrite it, and I figured that out Wednesday night just before falling asleep. Damn and double damn. But.
I pushed through. I wrote those scenes that had to happen. The attraction scene. The sex scene. The confrontation scene. The scene in the rodeo arena. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.) And through those scenes that had to happen, I started to see my story. So how will the second week of Ms. Havens’ Fast Draft go for me? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll go backwards, and write the beginning again. I don’t know. Don’t care. Because in 9 days, I’ve written over 32k words. Even if a lot of them have to get trashed, I’m learning.
I’m learning about my process, about my story, and that, hell yeah. I’m a real writer, even if it’s taken eleven years to feel this way.
I’m a real writer. Seriously.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?
I love fresh starts and innovative new ways for writers to work. And I cheer you on. For me, it’s always been kind of a mindset. I know I can write 3500 words in 4 hours, and still leave my desk with my brain not needing a nap. On deadline, I can write up to 6 hours, but the words those next two hours are never anywhere as good as what came the first 4 hours–and the extra two hours tend to fry my brain for the rest of the day. I have worked 10 hours straight, for well over the Fast Draft 5000 words, but only when I’m “in the zone” and time becomes kind of a non-entity. That seems to never happen when I’m on deadline, either, but instead when I least expect.
So, I cheer you on, and hope you meet all your expectations. I wish I could do every day exactly what you’re doing.
Joanie, one of the things I’ve learned is that writing is a muscle. And like running, you’ve got to work up to it. Four hours a day seems about optimum for most writers to write “fresh”. Editing can get done after those first four hours.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but I will say I’m finding I have the discipline. And that, truly, is all it takes. Discipline. A hard thing to learn for a lazy gal like me!
A number of people have recommended Candance’s class to me, but you’re the first person I know who has actually done it. I’m impressed. I end up throwing out about a third of every ms I write, and I write it slooooow. Might as well find out if I can at least speed up the junk dump.
I’m taking her combo boot camp right now, Sam – it’s a week of pre-writing (and they help you with that), two weeks of Fast Draft, and then a week of Revision Hell. We’ll see if I actually come out of Revision Hell with a useable product. I hope so…but if not, more revising is certainly doable!
Yes, you’re a real writer. And a darned good one, too.
Bless you, Sarah!
Yep. I understand this. I took Lani Diane Rich’s class Story Magic about 18 months ago when she first started doing classes at http://www.storywonk.com
I think it was called Discovery then. But anyway, it was fabulous and put together so many of the missing pieces for me. Not certain I’ll ever do NaNo again. I did it two years in a row but discovered I don’t write in a linear pattern like that, so it doesn’t work for me. I’m more of a circle the wagons, sit by the campfire, circle again, gather some flowers, make some coffee, circle again type of writer. ; )
Absolutely, Roben. Every writer’s process is different. I’m certainly not saying everyone should try Fast Draft, but I’m very pleased that it gave me the kick in the ass that I needed to get to the next level.
Awesome job, Christine! And yes – you are a real writer. (I just pictured Pinocchio being told he was a real boy. LOL) But you are a writer and a gosh darn good one at that. 🙂
Thanks, Rhonda! Hugs!
Glad you found this great kick in the behind tool. We ARE always learning!
Wow! I need to try this. My daily word count usually hits the negative numbers. 🙁
That is a lot of writing! Good for you.
Wow, Christine! Go you! I attended Candace’s workshops at the DFW Writers’ Conference in May, and she was excellent. I have yet to participate in her Fast Draft, but I will probably give it a go soon. I do still think about the one week sometime ago when I churned out 25k, and it felt good to know I could even do that once. Best wishes with your book!