Monday, November 19, 2012

So it happened again...

It happened again. I'm stopping NaNoWriMo short of winning.


Not because it isn't working right. It's just that...

Well... even when I take years to write drafts, I finish my rough drafts.... unfinished.

There are many reasons for this. Mainly, it's because of the way I write. My process looks like this:

Step 1: Rough draft. Mess around. Meet characters. Find the ones you like. Get a feel for the story. Keep going until the whole idea solidifies in my head.

Step 2: Rewrite. On computer. Creating a plan based on what I learnt during the rough draft. What did I like about the plot? What deserved more attention? Etc. All that gets taken into account. Then I write the whole thing again, remembering the main aspects, but only referring to the story every now and then. Point being to write a better version of the same story.

Step 3: Revisions and edits. Improving the story without markedly changing the plot. Some emphasis shifting can be done.

Step 4: Finishing up. The final polishes before seeing the story as finished.

Of course, these steps are usually subdivided further, but you get the gist.

Point is, I've now reached the point in my rough draft where I've learnt what I can learn. I'm still 18k away from my NaNoWriMo win, but after futilely trying for three days to churn out words, I realized that anything past the point I'd finished on then would be a waste of my time.

Thus, the title refers to me once again having missed the completion of my rough draft, exactly the same way I did with Doorways. 

Oh well.

Anyone else leave their rough drafts unfinished and focus on rewrites, edits and so on?

And just so you know, I finished a rough draft in 16 days. Which is a tiny fraction of time compared to what it took me to finish the same amount of words for Doorways. Excuse me while I go dance. ;-)


  1. Hey, that's worth getting excited about!

  2. You are amazing, Misha. Do what you feel is best to create another masterpiece like Doorways. I can't wait 'til it's published. :)

  3. Glad you're making progress. Woot!

    My first drafts get better and need less revision. Thank goodness. But in the early days, my process was very similar to yours. Maybe it still is in some ways... It's hard to tell at the moment.

  4. Dance, girl! I sometimes leave notes or small half-written sections to finish up after my first draft, but usually I crank it all out there.

  5. I think you are wise to listen to your instincts - especially since you have a good sense of what works for you as a writer. If I ever did Nano, I doubt I'd "win" because if I wrote that fast my draft would need so much rework, I'd doubt it would take any less time in the end.

  6. It's great that you understand your own process so well, and that you can recognize when you have reached the goal that matters. Well done!

  7. Every writer's process is different. Do what works for you, but do it!!!

  8. Hey Misha, If it's a win to you, then it's a win. No matter the word count. Congrats.

  9. I totally do this too, and I ended my NaNo novel prematurely for the same reason!

  10. Hi, Misha! As long as you are happy with your results, that is all that matters. You are a winner as far as I'm concerned. : )

  11. I don't see anything to be ashamed of, Misha! It looks like you've done everything you set out to do. Adding those extra words may not be necessary as long as the rest seems to work. If you ask me, and it looks like others feel the same way, you've still won even if you didn't reach the word count you'd aimed for. :)


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