I am writing furiously because I threw out a couple of days writing and re-wrote the ending. Again. I keep docs labeled “Shit I cut April <insert date>”. When I am bored, I read them. These docs form weird fragmented stories that have their own life. My writing teacher at UCLA, Tony DuShane said for a 200-page book that one might write as much as 1000 pages. I was dubious but I think I might be headed in that direction. Probably 500 pages. I keep sequentially numbered versions of my drafts. My husband suggested version control software that he uses for code and I gave him the fuzzy “oh yeah” look. I have been in the tech industry for years. I should have done this. Oh – but I am busy trying to finish this book. Don’t interrupt the coffee sucking genius at work! I actually dreamed I was writing the other night and then next day when I was writing, I had a moment of déjà vu thinking I already wrote this and looked thru my docs till I realized that I remember dream writing it. I hope to leverage this more in the future although I bet it never happens again. Otherwise I would nap all day to “write” my book.
I have lots of other docs with various background information or just descriptions of the characters. What the hell was the color of his hair? Most fantasy and speculative fiction writers create personal file systems to keep track of information about the world. Lists of casts of characters are a must. Details on specific plot points. And a cheat sheet as to when you introduce a plot point – recently I had a character discussing something that hadn’t occurred yet – whoops! I have a physical file that contains printouts and scribbled handwritten flow charts. I like to close the computer and sort thru my background papers. It’s comforting. Naturally, I have my Pinterest account for visual inspirations. Really it’s research….
Credit to Rihanna and Drake for the blog title.