I’m as surprised as anyone. Was it easy? Definitely not. Was it worth it? I think so. I have a very rough, very messy first draft of a complete story.
I’ve learned a lot.
I learned that I can’t write for more than an hour or hour and a half at a time before I need a break. Not only physically but mentally. I found that I would get that far and my thoughts just stopped organizing themselves in a coherent way. And despite all the action taking place in my head, my body let me know loud and clear that we are meant to move and move a lot. Also, writing in different locations with slightly different body positions makes a world difference. I don’t mean you have to go somewhere else, but just moving from the desk to the couch or even standing at the kitchen counter was good.
I discovered that despite having a pretty clear idea of how the story was going to go, I ran into a few bumps along the way. So I skipped ahead when I got stuck and that worked well. I also have a notebook full of notes and computer files full of comments or highlighted areas to easily find places that I need to go back to.
I did not give in to the temptation of researching online! I know from past experience that turns into a huge time dump. As soon as I saw how quickly I got behind if I didn’t meet my daily word count I realized I did not have time to do any of that.
I wrote every day. A couple of those days were just handwritten notes or a few hundred words. I felt if I skipped even one day it would be too easy to lose the momentum I had going. That meant I had to write a lot on a day off to catch up. On those days I wrote for a while, got things done and then went back and wrote some more. The neat thing about that was keeping the story in my head and when I sat back down to write, it usually flowed easily because I had planned the next scene in my head.
The story and characters really took on a life of their own during the third week. And that is when writing fiction is the most fun for me.
Overall, it worked great for me.
Everything I’m reading is saying to let the story sit for at least a couple of weeks but I’m not sure that will work for me. I think I’ll still play with it to keep it alive. I feel like I just found the real voice of the story and I don’t want to lose that. I definitely won’t work anywhere near the pace I just did. Now I can enjoy messing around with it.
Will I do this again? Probably if I have a large story that needs to get written. This method forced me to get it out as fast as I could and not overthink things.
Also, the writing community is great. Knowing that so many other people were doing the same thing at the same time is energizing.
If you participated, how did you do? I think even if you didn’t get to the crazy word count goal, if you got more writing done than you usually would, then you won.
Keep on creating!