Groundwork

 Word count: 220    Reading time: 1 min

As NaNoWriMo draws to a close, I’ve almost finished ploughing the field of my next YA novel. That’s right: I almost have a 50,000 word starting point. Or to borrow from Anne Lamott’s wonderful book Bird by Bird, I almost have a shitty first draft, a SFD. Emphasis on S.

That’s okay because I know the field needs more than ploughing. It needs harrowing and levelling as well. Revision is the harrowing and levelling of writing and I won’t start that for at least a month. What I will do is let it lie fallow so I can come back with a fresh perspective that allows me to see the plot lumps and the character weeds. Then I’ll read the whole thing, cover to cover, and try to sustain an attitude of confident optimism as I splash the pages with red ink. 

Before then, I have another field that needs attention. From January to October this year I rewrote last year’s NaNoWriMo effort many times. A YA novel, Lockdown takes place in Vancouver during a natural disaster. I believe it’s almost ready for harvesting.  

What’s growing in your paddocks? Are you working several crops at once? Do you rest your work? Or are you the mythical being who can produce a flawless tale in a single writing?

Photo by: Anna Fredriccsson