Monday, October 09, 2006

First Draft in 30 Days

This is the title of a book I recently picked up. Sounds interesting, right? And it is...sort of.

It's also a little intimidating. The author is a woman who's developed this system where you basically write a really detailed outline in 30 days that then allows you to write the novel from it in 2-3 months. Well, I leafed through her book today. She has some good tips, especially about brainstorming, and some helpful worksheets in the back, but wow!

It's a little too micro-managing even for me, who tends to be sort of over the top when it comes to organization and making lists and timelines and such. Every day is broken down into specific goals, and within those goals are another 3-7 things you're supposed to accomplish. My outlines never get as detailed as she recommends. Maybe they should. But I guess I'm still the kind of writer who sketches things out and then writes through an entire first draft, letting plotlines and characters change and develop as I go.

What about you? Do you stick to a very strict timeline when you're tackling a piece of writing? How detailed is your outline? And how long, really, does it take you to finish a complete novel, those of you who have? My average seems to be about 9-12 months. This author writes 3 novels a year. Maybe I should follow her system after all.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Marianne Arkins said...

I've tried detailed outlining -- you know what happens? I get into a scene, and something happens that I haven't outlined. Ugh. This now messes up the rest of the outline for the book.

I'm more a "figure out a loose idea of how to get from point A to point B". Sometimes I outline a couple chapters at a time, but I can't imagine how it would work with an entire book.

And, yes, she writes three books a year. Are they good books?

I wonder how Nora does it.

PS. Does this mean you're going to start writing again??

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