Eureka! Drafting Success!!

At the risk of overused exclamation points, I am shouting my happiness today.

Me back in love with my story!

Yesterday I wrote over 5500 words in my current WIP. Yeah! (oops, there's another one).

I've really been struggling to shut up my inner editor lately and my daily word count was suffering. I was lucky to eek out a few hundred words after hours of staring at my computer. Despite being in love with my story, it just wasn't working for me.

So what's different?

Two things. And because that's the kind of girl I am, I'm going to tell you.

1. I learned more about my characters
This one took me completely by surprise. I don't do character sketches outside of very loose physical descriptions so I can be consistent in how they look throughout the story. My preference is to discover along the way all the little quirks about my characters.

My current WIP is third person, a change for me but one I felt was needed. The problem was I spent a lot of time developing my MC, and the other characters were left feeling a bit flat. As soon as I realized that and spent more time focusing on them, my story came back to life.

And the best part is, I didn't need to spend a lot of time creating back stories or intricate character builds. For me, I just needed to focus a bit more on their individual motivations. The minute I focused on what each character wants, their words and actions practically flew on to the page.  Yeah! (sorry, but that's just going to happen today)

2. I found the notes feature
Way back in April, I wrote a blog about my new software acquisition, yWriter. I've been using it, but not really utilizing all the features. But then yesterday morning, I realized I forgot to add a detail into a prior scene. My gut reaction was to close the current scene, go back to the other scene, reread the whole thing so I could figure out where to add the detail, and write the detail in. But I knew if I did this it would take at least 30 minutes of my writing time. Also, I would most likely get distracted by other things I saw wrong in that old scene.

So, instead of taking that detour, I opened up the notes window and made a little comment: Include backpacks in earlier scene. And that was it. It took no more than two minutes and then I could get right back to the scene I was working on. No distraction and even better I wasn't trying to write while ignoring a nagging need to go back and change. Once I had that little note written down, I didn't have to worry about it any more.

I realize not everyone uses a writing software, but this is easy enough to accomplish no matter how you write. You could create a separate word document of only notes you think of while writing. You might even go low tech and keep a notebook with you while writing to jot down these thoughts.

So that's it! (last one I promise) I know, it's so simple I can't believe it took so long to figure it out. For those of you who mentioned struggling with your WIP, maybe this will work for you. As for me, I've got to get back to writing.