I'm 43k words into the first draft of a new manuscript, a little past halfway through. I've got an outline and everything, and I know where the story is going, but it's been a seriously long time since I've finished a first draft, and I don't really remember what that felt like for my other books. By this point I'm crawling through it--word after word, until it feels like it takes forever to write one chapter.
It's not that I can't find the words to use. It's that my chapters from past books have been 4-5k words long, and for this one they're continually ending up at 1.5-2k.
Not that this is a bad thing, of course. Some books don't need long chapters. Some books don't take a lot of words to tell a story. But something's wrong when you can tell as you're writing it that the pacing of the scenes is off and the world building is less than adequate.
SO. This is the point where I had to stop and remind myself that this is a FIRST DRAFT. Which means a couple things:
A.) The word count doesn't matter. This is what I seriously have to drill into my own head. Word. Count. Does. Not. Matter. It could be 10k and still be a first draft, as long as the entire story was there. Just because most of my books end up between 80 and 95k doesn't mean the very first draft of this one has to. That's what second and third drafts are for. Building and cutting and all that extra stuff.
B.) The first draft is the base. For me, the first draft is a base layer--the foundation to build from. With every draft after the first one, I add in more world building and character development. I forget this. A lot. Because I'm not used to working in a story world that isn't fully formed like the one in THE NOCTURNIAN is.
C.) I'm being impatient. Nothing new here. I wish I had a piece of technology that I could plug into my brain that would write my books for me. But that sounds like it could develop some dangerous AI, and I don't mess with that shit. I'm constantly telling myself to calm down and not expect something perfect the first time around.
But enough about that. The other thing I want to talk about is WriteOnCon. I think a lot of writers know what WriteOnCon is already, but in case you don't, it's an online writing conference held every August. Writers, published authors, and agents get together for vlogs, podcasts, chats, and all sorts of fun things. On the forums, unagented writers can also post their work for critique and the chance to be found by one of the conference's Ninja Agents.
If you're unagented, it's an awesome way to get exposure, meet other writers, and hone your skill. The best part? It's completely free.
I did it last year, and it turned out to be an awesome idea. The forums have been going crazy for the past week or so, but the conference itself is this week, the 14 and the 15. If you're already participating, good luck with your critiques and the ninja agents! If you haven't participated before but you're thinking about it, I HIGHLY recommend it.
And now for the music part of Music and Writing Mondays. This is the song for the villain in my WiP. Oh geez, do I love him:
Believer, by Viva Voce