Starting My Novel Over

27 Jan

During November when I participated in NaNoWriMo, I felt like I was on a roll – each chapter ending on a pleasing word count. Unfortunately, this was through my last weeks of the school year, which were the most intense and stressful I’ve had yet. I worked on my novel instead of homework – major assignments and test revision which would impact my grades more than anything – and I daydreamed about my characters in class instead of taking notes.

In one of the final weeks of school, I realised there was no way I could keep going on like that, and I had to put my novel aside to knuckle down on some school work. This unfortunately sapped me of any motivation I had to do anything, let alone write another 25,000 words, so the story fell unfinished and without much work until about mid-December, when I decided to edit what I had before going ahead with the rest.

However, editing made bad, worse. Deleting the countless strikethroughs caused my word count to drop like an apple from a tree, I noticed I had left quite a few things out that would be difficult to slip seamlessly into what I had, and I discovered that much of my writing was slow and repetitive. Ultimately, I became unhappy with my novel, and have barely looked at it since. I haven’t even logged into NaNo until today.

BUT, recently, I decided this was a story that I just have to tell. I considered opening the dusty file on my laptop and dragging through the next half of the novel in an attempt to finish, and improve, it. On second thought, though, I think I should just start the entire thing over from scratch. I believe it needed more planning, anyway, and perhaps I can improve on what I need to, now that I know what to improve

Additionally, I think I might write the draft out by hand this time. Sure, typing is much quicker, but I think I need to spend more time on this than I did in November, and maybe writing my novel down on paper will give me new perspective and fresh eyes on it all. (I like to scrawl untidy margin notes, too. Something not so easy in a Word document.)

I hope to have at least the first draft completed before July, so I can write the sequel for Camp NaNoWriMo then – but it should definitely be done before the coming November, because I don’t think I could bear to miss three NaNos in a year…

I haven’t entirely decided whether or not to go through with this idea yet – I might have some friends read what I have and give their opinions. Really, I only posted this to prove to myself that this is worth forgetting the 25,000 words I wrote almost three months ago now, and forging ahead in a new direction. Also, if it’s a crazy idea, I would like someone to stop me before I can do any damage. 😛

Which option would you take in my place? Starting again, or trudging through the mess of the half-finished first draft?

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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Angelic, My Writing


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