I’ve been thinking a lot about my novel-writing (and rewriting) process lately, and decided that it is too inefficient. It just takes me too darn long to get a novel into shape, and it is clearly my method at fault.
My current process looks something like this:
- Get Idea. “Ooh, shiny!” *plays*
- In the meantime, continue work on pre-Idea project.
- Brainstorm, cluster and make notes based on Idea.
- Get bored with pre-Idea project. Start Idea project.
- Feel guilty about abandoning pre-Idea project (and the pre-pre-pre-Idea projects). Tinker with them for a several months.
- Idea project calls–go back to it and write it out.
- Get New Idea. “Oooh, glittery!” *play with it while Idea project cools*
- *Guilt!* Return to Idea project and despair at how awful and broken it is.
- Start work on New Idea project (first drafts are way more fun!).
- New Idea novelty wears off. Revise Idea project.
- Revision stalls, so go off to browse web forums or clean grout or watch paint dry.
You can see where this is going. And I didn’t even mention the Zombie Pregnancies and Life with Newborns. All in all, I’ve developed this bad habit of moving on from projects I haven’t seen through to the bitter end. Yes, some ideas should be abandoned and yes, it is good to let things sit for a bit, but when I have a big pile of unrevised drafts sitting around, it means I’m dithering.
In an effort to turn this around, I’ll be focusing on revising previous novels for the rest of this year (and into the next–this is a big project!). I’ve set revision goals for myself (Phase I to be accomplished by Christmas). If I don’t meet them something dire will happen–like my Christmas gifts being withheld or no chocolate or something equally horrific.
Okay, kidding aside, I want to give myself the chance to take something rough and bring out the diamond in it. To take a block of marble and release the wondrous creature within it. To take everyday words and turn them into something magical. To share with others what I have created.