Day 4: Be true to your story

Last night, when I was trying to fall asleep–it did not go well, by the way, I think writing is making my brain more hyper–I began thinking about the next novel I want to write. This is the moment when I began to worry that I might be going round the bend.

Here’s the thing: I don’t finish what I start. It’s not for lack of good intentions, but there’s always a newer, shinier idea waiting off to the left a little. And how can I not try to excel at the thing that sounds even more awesome than what I’m working on now? Why wouldn’t I want to advance my aspirations?

Well, you probably know the answer to that question. Because you can’t actually improve if you never finish. You can get very, very good at finding new projects, but you can’t actually get good at the projects themselves.

Today, I don’t plan to write as much as I have been. I have graphic commitments, so I’m only really aiming for my baseline of 2,000 words. But as it stands, I’m two days ahead in terms of my word count, and it hasn’t been painful. I remember very clearly my last NaNoWriMo attempt: sitting in a room, feeling like writing 60 words was pulling teeth, and just hating that feeling. It made me loathe the process, and I didn’t expect things to be different this time.

And yet, they are. I may not feel like I’m producing great writing, but the writing itself doesn’t hurt. It’s not even that difficult just yet (though I expect to plateau at some point) and I’m actually having fun.

So when I was thinking last night about another story idea I’ve been carrying around for a while, my first thought wasn’t “Oh, God, how could I turn that into a book?” My first thought was, “If I finish this draft early because I’m so far above my word count right now, I could maybe squeeze in this next idea before Camp is over!”

This is why I think it was a very good choice to use Camp for the idea I’ve been playing with ten years, because this is the part I should worry about. Day 4, and I should be looking for strategies to keep myself on task, so that I don’t start planning a different book and abandon this project.

But wait! This is the amazing part. Thinking about this other idea, an idea that would better allow me to write what I know and tap into modern fiction instead of YA, doesn’t make we want to stop writing my current one. It’s the other way around. Writing this one, right now, every day, makes me look at this idea I have and say “I could write that next! Maybe I could make it good in revision!”

So today’s lesson? Stick with the story that brought you here. Change it, if you don’t like it anymore, but don’t give up. I may have found my antidote to quitting. 🙂

Today’s word count: 5,421 (woo!)

Total word count: 15,456

Today’s excerpt: He had watched himself die. Himself in another life, but it was still him, enough to scar. He hadn’t just watched, really, either—he’d helped. The blood he’d added to the mix linked him to Cameron and Cameron to the spell, and it was the spell that killed him. Not him.

Day 4: Be true to your story

2 thoughts on “Day 4: Be true to your story

  1. I’m sticking with mine too, even though it makes me want to pick up where the old one left off–only because….I really like the new one, and I like the character I’ve built. 🙂

    1. Toni Travis says:

      I think both of those things are awesome! 🙂 Being reminded why you loved the first one, and continuing the new one. 🙂

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