Organization · Writing

One chapter a day

At my desk

A couple of days ago I decided to write one chapter a day. Let me be clear that in the almost two years that I have been working on my manuscript I have never written one whole chapter in an entire day. Really! I’ve taken some time in between writing sometimes mid-chapter to think things through. Like really think things through. This usually includes research on craft like how to plant foreshadowing clues, how to avoid run-on sentences (yes, I admit run-ons happen among other grammar things), working on character arcs, what type of flowers grow in cold weather, you know things like that. I also look through my notes, make more notes, do writing exercises and read.

Even though I step away I’ve always come back with a solution for whatever conflict I was trying to solve. Yet sometimes I step away because I want to make more sense of the characters motives and how that’s going to play out throughout this book and possibly others. Gotta think ahead. The longest I have been on chapter hiatus has probably been a month. A good four weeks lets me breathe and mull things over, kind of chill and come back refreshed.

So since I don’t have a deadline I’ve been quite comfortable letting the story breathe and percolate as it pleases. But I really want to push through and work strategically and realistically. Someday I will have a deadline that won’t just be my own. So I proposed sometime last week that if I wrote/edited/revised a chapter a day I would be done in a matter of days with my current draft. Note that I am doing a combination of these or just one for a specific chapter. Has it worked? Yes, it has. I worked on and completed four chapters, of course, there’s life that happens and holidays and such. During the long Labor Day weekend, I focused on organizing the following chapters by rough outlining them. It took two days to do that and then I sort of rested on Monday. Since I took some time to get organized I’m not wondering what to work on on the day of, I just start working on what I’ve already set up for myself.

How do you get organized with your writing? I’m interested to know what works for you!

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