I've never had much luck with fast-drafting (usually defined as writing a novel in a month or less), but when Denise told me she had written a book on the subject, I decided to give it one more shot and maybe this time, oh, I don't know, get HELP instead of trying to figure it all out on my own?
Two pages into FAST FICTION, I discovered where I went wrong: I DIDN'T PLAN ahead of time. I would leap in and start writing frantically the moment I was struck with an irresistible idea.
It was the equivalent of hopping into a car spur of the moment to drive to "I Don't Know--Somewhere Cool!" Because getting there is half the fun, right?
This is what happened on a typical journey:
- I would change the destination (plot) on a whim as I went.
- My travel companions started off as total strangers to me and each other (didn't have a handle on my main characters for the first 25-30K words).
- I didn't bring enough money for food or gas (tried to fast-draft during a month with lots of prior commitments).
- I had no map (nothing but the vaguest outline, which was thoroughly untested for logic)!
- I didn't understand the terrain (no time for research, which left huge gaps in the book and led me down unrealistic plot paths).
- I became obsessed with distance traveled (wordcount), regardless of whether it was in the right direction. By that point, I knew the book had major problems, so racking up words was the only thing I had to feel good about.
Which is a shame, because it was a book that meant a lot to me. It might've rocked your socks off. But I killed it with my stubborn devotion to an unrealistic goal. Sorry.
(It wasn't a total loss: the heroine's backstory intrigued me so much, I'm going to turn it into an amazing YA novel someday.)
Here's the part where I go all ALL-CAPS-Y ON Y'ALL.
DON'T DO WHAT I DID. If you want to try NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo, or do your own fast-drafting at a time convenient to you, I highly recommend picking up Denise Jaden's FAST FICTION at least SIX WEEKS before sitting down to write. She lays out a simple but thorough pre-writing plan that even an easily distracted, impulsive brain like mine can follow. And during the drafting period, she has a tip and inspiration to follow each day.
Because without a plan, you will waste gas, time, and energy. You might even damage your car (manuscript) beyond repair. DO NOT TOTAL YOUR BOOK. It deserves better.
So without further ado, here's Denise to talk about FAST FICTION!
Rather than doing a traditional interview-filled blog tour, Denise Jaden is celebrating the release of her new nonfiction writing book, FAST FICTION, by dropping tips about writing quickly at every stop of her blog tour, and offering some awesome prizes for commenting on any of these posts (including this one!)
The more you drop by and comment, the more chances you have to win these great prizes:
Denise's Fast Fiction Tip: Use Personal Heroes!
Who are your personal heroes? And, more importantly, why are they heroic to you? The heroic qualities which are most important to you will always evoke passion within you. That’s why we tend to love to watch movies or read books with a certain type of characters. Do you gravitate to characters who are selfless or extremely talented? Keep these heroic qualities in mind as you develop your own plots and characters. Finding what makes us passionate about our characters can help carry us through as we motivate ourselves to tell their most important stories.
- Compliments of New World Library: They will be giving away A BOX of copies of FAST FICTION by Denise Jaden and GET IT DONE by Sam Bennett (US and Canada only):
- Compliments of Denise Jaden, TWO BOXES of great fiction (US Only). Details on Denise's blog.
- Audiobook copies of NEVER ENOUGH by Denise Jaden!
- A critique of your first five pages, compliments of Denise's agent, Michelle Humphrey from The Martha Kaplan Agency!
Praise for Fast Fiction:
Can't get a copy of FAST FICTION right now? I wonder if you'd consider helping out in other ways. I'd really appreciate any way that you can help!
- Ask your library or bookstore to bring in FAST FICTION
- Leave a review on Amazon (the more books are reviewed on Amazon, the more they will show up as suggestions for readers).
- Mention FAST FICTION on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or pin a link to Amazon on Pinterest
Or, if the Rafflecopter Giveaway doesn't seem to be coming up on this blog, access it here: http://www.denisejaden.com/FastFictionContest.html