Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Research and Writing

Thanks to Bish Denham and her MARVELOUS blog hop yesterday, I find myself consumed with the idea of list making. Okay, okay, even MORE consumed with list making. I'm already addicted to lists of all sorts: to-do lists, grocery lists, project lists. And I'm all in favor of checking things off said lists. Unfortunately, what usually happens is a keep making new lists, adding the undone things from previous lists. In other words: I rarely cross anything off!!

Counterproductive, I know.

Anywho, all this list making and reading got me thinking: I should really make lists pertaining to my work. Not just lists of story ideas (I have plenty of those) but lists that coincide with each story and what I need to be doing in order to get that story enfleshed and out into the world.

One list in particular, a list of research topics by Chrys Fey, really got my creative juices flowing. I've never actually sat down and listed what I need to research for a current WIP. Which is really strange because I love research more than list making. (Seriously. If anyone out there knows how I can get a job as a research assistant for, say, any of Oxford University's libraries, you let me know. I'll do whatever it takes.)

My current WIP is one I started two years ago. I sat down and wrote the first draft in 8 days. Yes, I pulled Hemingway. Still, it sat for two years before I really took a good look at what needed to be done to make it publishable. I've worked a second draft and then realized the first draft had more meat in it. I tried steering it in another direction for draft 2 and didn't like the outcome. It made it clunky, limping, and I found I was going back and trying to reference draft 1.

So. Draft 3. I think (and this is a tentative THINK) draft 3 is my NaNo novel. I've gone back to the original idea but I realize it will require some research and reshaping. Or rather, some deepening. I'm not afraid of that; I just know I may not make the NaNo goal when I start digging.

So here's a little question for you, Dear Reader: I'm botched NaNo several times and I'm not ashamed to say so. I got ideas out, enfleshed some that may have not been given breath, and was able to figure out what worked and what didn't. There's a part of me that really wants to see that WINNER badge on my blog at the end of November but more than that, what I really want to see, is a carefully constructed story with carefully researched facts that allow me to weave together a believable tale. Well, as believable a tale as speculative fiction will allow :)

Just writing all this out has given me a bit of heart-peace about my NaNo decision this year. I love the idea of getting 50,000 words written. Yippee! You made it!! And it is quite a feat to write a novel in a month. I've done it several times and it is a very good feeling indeed. Still, it's never been a solid novel. Know what I mean?

Are YOU participating in NaNo this year? Are you sitting it out? Or, do you create your own NaNo and sign up just to keep yourself on track?

That last one sounds more and more like the way to go this year for me.

Write on; trust your story,


  1. I totally know what you mean. My NaNo attempts have been disasters. Messes that took more time cleaning than it would have taken to draft the story the right way. That's why I don't NaNo.

  2. Crystal: That makes sense. Sometimes I feel the pressure to do NaNo more than the DESIRE to join in the challenge. I am going to do NaNo this year, but I feel like I'll be doing it on my terms. There's no shame in that!


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