Holidays, hosting a party, or rearranging the kitchen cupboards. No matter how much preparation you put into something, it rarely goes the way you imagined it. ‘The best laid plans’, or so they say …
Writing a novel is, apparently, just the same. I began on 1st May 2015 with pages and pages of notes and character descriptions. I’d already spent a couple of weeks working out my plot in detail, so that when I started writing then I could (to use my toddler’s current favourite phrase), ‘Go, go, go!’
(Click here to view one of my posts about the process of preparing to write.)
In reality, it hasn’t worked out that way. Just like the enthusiastic traveller who gets three hours down the motorway before realising that the passports are still sitting at home in a neat pile on the kitchen table, I have found myself tracing and retracing my steps so many times already, and I’m nowhere near finished!
However, just like the enthusiastic traveller, I will keep going with a smile on my face, and one day I will pass the elusive mid-point of my novel and come out the other side. In the end, the journey is just as important as the destination, and I’m definitely learning a lot.
Here’s a summary of my progress so far:
Number of words written (TOTAL): 82,061
Number of words written which will probably end up in the novel (as opposed to being pushed aside as the characters/plot/novel structure change, to be resurrected in later works): 33,025
Still, despite the fact I’m nowhere near the end, I can’t help feeling a little proud of myself. Writing 82,000 words in under 3 months (even if they don’t join up into a coherent story, quite yet!) is a big achievement for me. In length alone, it would pass for a novel, and that is something not to be sneezed at! And, in getting to this point, I have learnt an awful lot about the importance of planning, planning, and more planning, but also about the need to be flexible. Chill out and go where the writing takes you.
The best laid plans might not always go the way you imagine, but they might just end up leading you somewhere better!