The Under Ground Writing Project

Making writers right since 2008.

Notes from Under Ground Post New Entry

It has begun.

Posted by John Ridge on September 28, 2012 at 9:00 AM

I was going to start writing the second draft for my book in November. NaNoWriMo month, with something to write about, why not? By that time all of the research and planning will be done. What could possibly go wrong?

Remember when I talked about research? Well, I reached my saturation level. I started to see connections and associations that exist in the past and present of our world that would make anyone go a little nuts (I'm not kidding). 

So instead of wandering any further into the weeds, I decided to bring my focus back to the reason I was doing all of the bloody research in the first place. I started writing the first page Wednesday night. Then I rewrote it. I rewrote it on Thursday. I'll probably re-write it later once more pages have been written. When I wrote the first draft, I placed an artificial deadline upon myself, and the writing suffered. This time, I'm taking extra time, extra care with. Every. Word.

When Margaret Atwood spoke in town a while back, she mentioned that every bit of her books, while some of it was a little out there, was grounded in some basis of our reality. She has file folders and file folders of articles that back up much of what she has written. While I don't have file folders, I have notes taken from everything I've digested and processed in the name of learning more. The work that has come out so far feels far more grounded than a short story I played around with for five hours (as it should).

I am encouraged to find the research and extra thinking I have done is paying off. Every iteration is yielding more detail, more worldbuilding touches that create a reality far more complete than the one I had in the first draft. All of it is coming from a more informed imagination, which makes me feel more confident and more like I'm headed in the right direction.

We'll see, it's just the first page after all.

So all of this is great, for now, but at the rate I'm going it could be over a year before the second draft is completed. The next step is to be able to do all that while under deadline and not let any of the writing suffer.

Now, quit reading this and go write something.

Categories: Writing Process, Books

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