Monday, April 11, 2011

An Experiment in Writing Accountability

Despite the poor spelling and the Photoshopping, I like this one.

I've decided that very concrete goals may be more helpful for my personality and writing productivity than abstract goals, even very specific abstract goals. Like trying to finish certain scenes, rather than meeting certain word counts. Like now, rather than during NaNoWriMo. Well, NaNoWriMo works well, but there's built-in accountability and general excitement and so on during NaNo that word count goals at other times of the year don't have. And word counts aren't as helpful when you know you want to finish a novel (er, the rough draft of a novel) by the end of June but you're not sure how much you have left.

Um, this is relevant because Melanie gave me a coupon for Christmas, good for the free printing of my novel into nice bookish form. (Very bookish. Being, well, a book. Um.) It expires at the end of June. I'd use it for The Miller's Granddaughter, but I already have a nice copy of the Miller's rough draft (courtesy of another Christmas), and Miller's won't be in its final, beautiful form by July. And why some random middle draft?  So I decided to use the coupon on Sometimes Blind. Which gives me motivation to finish the darn thing. Erm, the lovely thing. Yeah.

So, I've decided to break down what I know of what remains of Sometimes Blind into equal portions. How equal these portions will actually end up being is anyone's guess, but as I learn more (as I write!) I'll revise the goals. Also, having no idea whether or not I've assigned way too much work to the back end of the project will motivate me to work ahead, and make sure to meet the early goals. Maybe.

I mean, I haven't met any yet, but I'm feeling quite angsty about the fact. More than usual, perhaps. That's a kind of progress. Ooh, and I'm so going to write this afternoon. There you go.

I've created goals for April, for May, and for June. Further, I've created goals for each week in April.

I did not meet last week's goal. Maybe I'll meet it today. We shall see.

I'm thinking of posting my goal (or a vague version of it, in case anyone minds spoilers for My Very Own Rough Draft) every Sunday, and whether or not I met my goal every Saturday. Granted, I could post them together on Sunday, but I like the twice-a-week idea better, for some reason.

So. Last week: To write the scene with the Healer. (One scene?  How difficult can that be?  Heh. Given that she's blind in this scene and doesn't speak the same language as half the people in the room, it has its own trickinesses. On the other hand, no one said I have to write it well.)

This week: To write her journey back home. Darn it, I wish I knew how to make that more vague. Oh, well. Now, those of you who want to read it someday, or have read some of it already, you will know: She goes back home!  At some point!  Before the end of the book!  Possibly (if I'm writing these scenes in order) after some scene with a Healer!  Um. Yes. Self-mockery aside, I really do wish I could be more vague. I should just say, "her next journey." Yes. Um. Too late. I've already said the one, and there's no possible way of changing that. None at all. Doom, doom, doom and destruction.

Update later in the day: I have now written that scene with the Healer. Mostly. Just... not from her perspective. And it's going to have to be from her perspective. I'm pretty sure. Stuff and botheration. I mean, I knew what I was doing when I started writing it from a different character's viewpoint. I just... didn't expect to write two thousand words that way. I guess. Though that counts some words that were cut and replaced. Bleh.

Don't get me wrong. It's fun to write. Really it is. It's just simultaneously frustrating. And at this point, I'd rather enjoy the writing of a different scene. Meh.

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