Learning Patience

Prep work on Undead and Inhuman progresses.  I’ve got a rough idea down for each chapter, and now I’m going through them one at a time to figure out what’s going to happen to each of my main characters every step of the way.  I settled on moving forward a chapter each day, and if I keep up that pace, I should be done (or almost done) with plotting by the first week of June.  The plot deadline is the end of June, so this means I can either kick back for three weeks before starting the first draft or push forward and be that much ahead of schedule.

And hell, if I put my foot down a little more on the gas pedal and do two chapters a day, I can get through this in the first day or so of June rather than the first week.  Pretty sweet, right?  And since I’ve got eighteen chapters to plot out, why not go further, blaze through three chapters per day, and be done by next Monday?

Well, hang on.  I’m not making bowls of cereal here.  More chapters in a day means less time for each one.  With some chapters, the ideas come pouring in.  With others, getting an idea is like getting a good song out of Justin Bieber, and that shit just ain’t gonna happen.

Additional speed invites overlooking errors and not thinking things through.  There might be a loose thread or two in those smooth chapters that you’re missing, and you’ll end up snagging on them later.  And those tougher chapters?  Sure, you’ll be tempted to say, “Fuck it!  Let me just write down something – anything – and move the fuck on!”  But if you do that, you’re willingly setting yourself up for problems later.  When you’re writing that first draft, you’re going to hit that substandard plot point and you’ll be forced to take time away from the writing to fix it.

And when you’ve built up steam with the writing, when you’re on a roll, it really sucks to have no choice but to take the wind out of your own sails.

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