I've been involved with a writing challenge this month. So far, I've written over 34,000 words on a new novel since March 1st. Woo hoo!!
This novel will be women's fiction and will center around things that I'm most passionate about. If you know me very well, you may be able to guess what this book will be about. Any guesses?
What's been great about this challenge, besides writing so many words, is learning more about my writing process. I've been keeping track in an Excel spreadsheet of the date, time, and word count. I've learned that I have averaged about 1500 words an hour. I'm starting to slow down now because I'm almost to the end of the story, but I've kept up that pace pretty consistently. I'm more prolific in the afternoon, 12:00-2:00, than any other time of day.
I've also learned that I can write more when I've thought about the story prior to sitting down and working. If I have a general feel for what I want to write, the story practically writes itself. I did spend the month of February doing a lot of pre-writing and writing scenes on index cards, so that's helped me a lot. I'm a planner.
Currently, most of this draft is dialogue. I "hear" my stories much more than I see them. I tend to write my first drafts in dialogue. That's helpful to me in a few ways: I can make sure the dialogue is moving the story forward, I can (hopefully) avoid info dumps in the description/narrative, and I can get a real feel for my characters by what they say and how they say it.
I've learned a lot through this challenge and by the end of the month I hope to have a working rough draft. After all, I can fix a terrible first draft, but I can't fix a blank page.
What is your writing process?