Today, I will be myself, and no characters will be writing this post for me.
As any successful writer is, I am, of course, a master at procrastinating.
My novel Oracular is currently in the pre-draft-three stage. I finished draft two back near the end of last year (Halloween, to be specific), but haven’t started draft three yet for two reasons: (a) another project (see below) and (b) I need more world-building first.
If we were to score my amount of procrastination, I’d give this project an 8.5/10. With ten being “totally procrastinating and completely unproductive”.
To be honest, a lot of the reasoning is just that world-building is rather tedious and I can only take so much of it before I start getting annoyed with the world.
I have been working on it, though. The other day, I printed out the whole novel (291 pages and all…thank goodness my printer does double-sided). I’m using it as an incentive to finish world-building—as soon as I do, I get to edit it (well, mark it up) with real paper, instead of digitally like I did for draft two.
So for my world-building, I’m following two lists.
There’s clearly a lot of overlap in the two lists, but they also approach the world slightly differently, which I like to help me remember to make my world more well-balanced.
So far, from the first list, I’ve completed government, religion, most of history, and resources. I have some scattered notes for cuisine, festivals, transport, weapons, and culture, which leaves mannerisms, leisure (and entertainment, which I think I might combine), technology, and language.
For the second list, I do have geography, climate, politics, religion, arts, and history, leaving economics, social, and science.
Depending on how you look at it, I’m either not quite to or a little past the 50% mark.
Which is obviously why my progress bar on the right is at 25.5%. Oops?
Cyberspace, as I tend to call it when I’m feeling lazy, is still a first-draft, so the only thing I really have to do is…keep going.
I decided to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, hoping that that would help motivate me to work more. You can see how well that’s going.
It isn’t just procrastination this time, but also a bit of writer’s block.
I call myself a planner/plotter, but when it gets down to first drafts, I have…never fully followed any of my outlines. Cyberspace is no exception—the plot derailed in minor ways, delayed in others, and presented interesting new information that could possibly result in plot twists even I didn’t foresee; my characters’ personalities blossomed into somethings I never even dreamed of having when I planned this one out, and their arcs are completely off-track.
As a result, this middle part that I’m writing is, for the most part, new territory. My outline is still insight—I know where I’m heading in the long run. For now. But these new few chapters are going to be difficult.
The best thing I can do right now, I believe, is just keep going and power through it. I had a few moments like these while writing Oracular, and the way I got past it was by continuing to write every day, even if it was a very sad 200 or even 50 words in the whole day.
Even 50 words adds up after a while.
[Anyone wanna take bets on which Morgan will be more productive in first? I bet virtual brownies that Oracular will win out first, ’cause it’s more awesome.]