“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Welcome to Week Three. Believe it or not, we’re halfway there. You should (hopefully) be hitting 25,000 words by the end of the day. This is the moment where we really start to wonder “What was I thinking?” Maybe it’s, “What was I thinking signing up for this insane thing?” Or maybe it’s, “What was I thinking when I dreamed up this story.” For me, this year’s story drama is “Why is my heroine such a twitch?” and “Is my hero’s father really that much of an asshole?”
It’s nothing that can’t be fixed in editing (and the hero’s father may very well remain an asshole, just toned down), but I’m getting a little twitchy because some of it is just not the way I had envisioned things. There’s a great urge to slow down and edit. Cresting the top of the hill, though and seeing the downward slope, I’m going to just grab hold of the cart and ride it all the way down.
Write with gusto. Write with abandon. Don’t be afraid of what is on the page at this moment. It is all mutable in the end. You can revise almost anything, but let the bones at this point be what they will be and embrace them. Give it your all. Don’t let doubt hold you back or stay your hand from letting a scene run longer than you know you should. When you go back, you may cut two-thirds of what you’ve written, but it is also possible that there is some gem in all of that you would have lost if you didn’t let yourself go. A detail, a phrase, a moment that makes your story richer.
That’s why we draft. We are building our bones, laying the foundation. Some of it likely won’t pass code and we’ll have to do major reworks, but if you give your story the best you have to give, even in the reconstruction, there will be things of beauty.
Go forth and write. You’re halfway there.