Friday, November 30, 2012

More Discipline Needed

I was going to title this The Downside of NaNoWriMo, but on further reflection, I realized that the problem wasn't NaNo, it's the way I reacted to it.

I finished NaNo with just over 50k words; about half what I think Background Check will need. Then, I went back to editing Freedom Does Matter and discovered it was hard to work on the characters' situations, having spent a month wrangling with their future selves. I knew where they were going and how the next months would play out for them... it was hard to focus on the present of the earlier story.

But this is my issue, not my characters', not my story's. Discipline, I think. I need to work on the current state of the novel, and leave the future for when I finish the present.

Has anyone else found this to be true, working on two stories with the same main characters at once? Comments welcome!


  1. G’day Tony.

    If you’re writing a series of stories that ‘tells the tale’ of the lives of your characters, isn’t that the same as a developing the plot in a single story? The characters grow and evolve as time passes and individual stories are told. And, in the writing of that single story, no doubt you have an idea of where it is headed. So, isn’t what you’ve done with NaNo equivalent to writing the ‘next chapter’ while still working on the current one?

    You could also use this situation to your advantage by ‘setting the stage’ in the current story for developments in the following one. Obviously, nothing that is going to cause the reader to wonder about it at the end of this story, but elements that can be used to add depth to the next.

    Just a suggestion.


    1. Yes, and that happens, just as knowing the backstory makes the future story richer.
      What I was having a problem with was getting over the feeling that 'I'm past this phase in their lives,' or maybe wanting to fill out the new story instead of cleaning up the old one.
      It's that short attention span problem.
      Thanks for the comment, and the thought! I appreciate it.

    2. I think Phil had a good point! Best of luck with all your editing!