Fits, starts, and writing out of order

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, September 21, 2011 At 1:18 PM

I had a couple of very busy weeks, as you probably guessed from my lack of posts.  The first week of September, Michael was off of work, so I took some time off too — hard not to when he's home, because we end up doing stuff together anyway.  After that I was busy playing catch-up on all the assignments I'd neglected while he was home.  And then when you add in all the horse and family stuff I've been doing lately — well, it's no wonder it's already fall, and I'm left wondering what happened to my summer!

Yesterday, however, I finally felt like I "got it back" — the productivity on my novel that I experienced briefly a few weeks ago, that is.  I worked hard and got all of my client projects done, and found yesterday that I had nothing to do.  Then I remembered my poor, neglected novel — oh, right, I was supposed to be transitioning to working on that more often!

I started out with a little research, and by the time I was done checking on what I wanted to check on, I was excited about my novel again.  I wrote, and wrote, and wrote.  Then hubby came home and we had to meet a friend for dinner, so I had to stop.  (Very reluctantly, I might add.)  So afterward, I came home, and wrote and wrote some more, until it was quite late and I was quite tired (underneath all the excited energy that comes from getting wrapped up in writing a novel).  When all was said and done, I had added a whopping 4,648 words to my novel, all in one day!

I'm doing something very uncharacteristic of my usual style.  I am usually a fairly linear person when it comes to novel writing, starting at the beginning and working my way to the end.  But this novel has been different.  Occasionally scenes have come to my mind and I feel I just have to get them down before I forget what I wanted to write.  Other times, like yesterday, my research triggers some ideas.  In this case, I was doing research for one character's backstory, and decided to write the entire scene (or scenes) where he tells his story, which takes place somewhere in the middle of (my vision of) the novel.  So far it's been wildly successful, and I'm about two-thirds of the way done (it's a long story).  Once I finish, I have to work out the details that will fill in between the beginning and the middle, but that won't be so hard now — since the backstory is so heavily wrapped up in the entire conflict and resolution of the novel, it turns out I actually had to write this part before I figured out the rest of the story.

Luckily, I don't have anything else pressing to do today, so I can make it another novel day!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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