I have been immersed in the writing process for the last few weeks. Not only have I been focusing on the process to take for writing my book, but also on the process for writing effective essays in my summer class. Talking and thinking through these different processes has been so very overwhelming, but also so very helpful.
I think I have mentioned before that I have been following the “90 Days to a Novel” plan that I got from a workshop of the same name at PPWC. In this plan, the first 30 days are spent planning. I have been planning, and planning, and planning for the past month. Since the spring semester ended I have been focused solely on developing my own thoughts and ideas when it comes to the book. I have been planning characters, developing plot, establishing setting, figuring out themes, and listing out the crucial scenes that are needed to write the book. At first I was dismayed to be spending such a large amount of time on planning and not actually writing the book. I’ve come to learn, though, how important this planning stage is to successfully writing a book! Without these 30 days of planning, I’m not sure I would be able to start and then finish the novel. I am realizing that my lack of planning – in the past I have skipped right over the planning step of the process – is what has kept me from doing the actual writing. In the past I didn’t know where I was going with the story, and that is what stopped me from getting anywhere at all.
One of the most useful planning aspects I got from the “90 Days to a Novel” workshop is the concept of writing an entire synopsis for the book before even writing it. That has hands down been the most beneficial thing that I have done during the planning process. It helped me work out some of the kinks in my story, and I now know how certain characters play into the plot, who the antagonist is, and how the story ends. I even wrote a miniature version of the closing scene in the synopsis. It is a wonderful feeling having really worked out the kinks in at least the basic structure of the novel. Now I just need to get to the writing of it.
The second month of the “90 Days to a Novel” plan is spent doing the actual writing. In order to get to the correct word count needed for a full length book, this requires writing somewhere in the range of 2,500 words a day. Although I am following this plan, I am adapting it and lengthening the process a little bit. My goal is 1,000 words a day. My 30 days of writing the actual words of the novel have started. They started in July, and I am already a couple days off (my July started with a little mini vacation where writing was basically impossible) but I am ready to kick this novel in the butt. It’s going to get started and it’s going to get finished, starting now. After finishing up this post I am going to move on to my novel document and begin writing there.
The process is still ongoing, but I am ready for the next step.