Tuesday, February 1, 2011

(Work-in-) Progress Report: Judy

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 2,000 (oh, yeah!)
Status: Writing the first draft
Attitude: Giddy

I’m giddy because I’m writing a first draft again, because I’m still excited about the last draft of my last project* (better known as Bob), and because I’m feeling like a renegade.

“Like a renegade?” you ask. “Please, Krista, do tell.”

All right, I will, but only if you come a little closer. And a little closer than that. Okay, you ready? Because I'm only going to 'fess up once.

I’m feeling like a renegade because I’m writing without an outline.

Can you believe it? I’m writing without an outline! Bob is only the second manuscript I’ve written WITH an outline, but outlining is such a natural extension of my personality that writing without one almost feels like cheating. I just had this story idea (YA again, of course), and I didn’t want to take the time to figure everything out. So I started writing instead. About three days ago.

We’ll see how long I last:)

I have no idea where I’m going with this idea. I’m not even sure what genre it is yet. (Should I try to tackle a contemporary, or should I add some thriller elements to entertain myself? Or should I just throw this silly real-world notion out the window and turn it into a good old urban fantasy?) I just know that I like writing it. I like writing something.

How about you? What are you working on right now, and how is it going?

*I did finish the revision I was working on, and now I’m just waiting to see what happens to it. That’s what querying mostly is, I think: waiting.

25 comments:

Pam Harris said...

Yay! Isn't writing a new story so much fun? Of course, I have a difficult time w/ first drafts, but it feels great once I get everything out. Right now, I'm diving back into a first draft that I haven't worked on since last summer. I finally have some new ideas. :)

Kirk Kraft said...

No outline? Are you crazy?!? Oh,wait...I'm not using one either!

Seriously, I used to be a heavy outline guy but my current WIP has been almost entirely seat of my pants. I had a very skeletal plot outline and characters but nothing else.

As for progress? Passed the 65k word mark last night. First drafts are brutal but I'm enjoying it. In between waves of words, I'm also revising another novel.

Jenilyn Tolley said...

Yay for giddy new drafts! Very exciting!

Stephanie McGee said...

New projects are always fun. Me? I'm revising and trying to decide what project idea I'll work with next.

Shari said...

There's nothing like the excitement of starting a new project, is there? Wishing you lots of giddy inspiration as you continue :-)

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I tried writing with no outline on my most recent attempt and got about 2000 words before it petered out. Now, I'm back to outlining again.

Krista V. said...

Pam, first-drafting used to be my favorite part of writing, but now that I've learned so much about revising, I think I like that part better. Still, it's pretty exciting to make something out of nothing. That's the thrill of the first draft, I think.

Kirk, way to two-project it! I'm still working on mastering that skill:)

Thanks, Jeni! And good luck with the last of your revisions!

Stephanie, it's funny how cyclical this writing thing is. That's exactly what I would have said a few months ago.

True, Shari. And I think I'm going to need all the inspiration I can get on this one.

Well, Kayeleen, when I give up and go back to the outline, at least I know I'll be in good company:)

Janet Johnson said...

I just started a new draft, too. I love the potential of a first draft. Hope you keep enjoying it. :D

And best of luck with the querying!

Liesl said...

Oh, YAY for renegade Krista! Just go with it!

I am a little jealous that you are beginning a new project. It's like finding a new romance...all th possibilities. But revisions, revisions, revisions!

Hooray for Judy!

Krista V. said...

Janet, yay for new projects! What genre is yours?

Yeah, Liesl, you better not be thinking about new projects right now. I won't let you give up Herbert until he's good and finished:)

kaitlynfall said...

Congratulations on starting another draft! Especially while waiting for a query - definitely a great way to pass the time.

The draft I'm working on now is the first first draft I've ever written *with* an outline. And it makes it so much easier! Every time I open the document, I know exactly what I need to write at that point, and I'm not left staring at the screen for hours without knowing what to do.

I agree with what you said in one of the comments - I think I prefer revising to first-drafting now.

Good luck! Don't falter with your typing until you're done! :)

Bittersweet Fountain said...

First draft! How exciting!

I'm with Kirk on having two projects. To me revising is really time intensive and requires having a good couple of hours at the computer. First drafts, however, I tend to write in class (don't tell my professors!). So I'm revising one story and writing the first draft of another. All the excitement and drama of both. :)

~Mandy P.

Jennifer McFadden said...

Hi Krista- I found you on Kelly Bryson's blog. I love writing new drafts too. I have just went back to my YA time travel that I started last year, and would love for you to read it if you wouldn't mind...

Monica B.W. said...

Hey Krista!! Oh I'm so happy that you're querying AND writing! I mean, for me it was sooooooo dificult to do both, mainly bc I was so nervous that my muse just wanted to eat chocolate with me, lol.

Anyway, no outline? I think that's awesome! I mean, when I use them, characters won't do what I want them to do. Makes sense? ;)

Krista V. said...

Kaitlynfall, I love it when pansters give outlining a try! I think we as writers have to be flexible, not so set in our ways that we don't give ourselves room to grow, and sometimes, an outline really is the best way to go. Die-hard pantsers might be limiting themselves in that way.

Mandy, some college classes just beg to be ignored:)

Jennifer, sending you an e-mail...

Monica, it IS hard to query and write for just the reasons you said. Still, I feel like a lump when I spend all my kids' naptime researching new agents and stalking the old ones, so writing is a nice distraction:)

Myrna Foster said...

Hurray for giddy first drafts! I'm about halfway through mine and loving it (at the moment)! I think a lot of the problems I had with my last story came from trying to follow an outline instead of just following the story.

I'm glad you're working on something fun while you wait.

Esther Vanderlaan said...

How in tarnation do you write THAT fast?????????????????????????????? Great work all the same! :)

Krista V. said...

Myrna, interesting observation. Outlines might be limiting, too, depending on the writer.

Esther, don't be too impressed:) I don't usually write this fast. I think it has something to do with my attitude toward this project. Normally, I'm like, "Gotta finish this, gotta make it perfect, gotta get an agent for it," but right now, I'm just letting myself write to write, to enjoy it again.

Carol Riggs said...

Aha! No outline! That sounds like a fun yet potentially scary experiment. How daring of you.

But it just might work, if you add enough conflict and twists as you go. It sounds very freeing. You may have to do a fair amount of tweaking later, but you'll probably get a really organic flow to it!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Ah, you wild child, you. Welcome to the wonderful world of pantsers. I welcome you. I hope you have a great experience with Judy, even without the outline.

Amy

Krista V. said...

Carol, it is freeing. That's what I've learned from Judy so far - I don't have to write one way. I can do whatever feels right at that moment.

Thank you, Amy! This is quite the experiment. My last two manuscripts, especially Bob, were definitely my best, and those were the two I outlined. However, I suspect that has more to do with my growth as a writer in general and not just my conversion to outlining. We shall see, I guess...

Stephanie@thecrackedslipper said...

You rebel! Go with it! I think I would drift into precarious waters without some kind of outline...I tend to keep a running tally of the next few scenes at the end of my first draft. Each number is a scene, something like this...

1) She runs away from the giant chicken. Hides behind tree.
2) She wakes up in the principals office with a huge knot on her head. Principal has disappeared.
3). Hallway. Opens locker. Feathers inside.
Principal's hat inside. Cops arrive and arrest her!
4) At jail. Pondering principal and chicken. Peers out window. Sees chicken driving away in principal's car.

Subject to change, of course. You never know where the story will take you. :)

Krista V. said...

Stephanie, your comment made me smile - I think you should write that book:) Yeah, that's usually how I outline, with an ordered list of scenes. It is exciting to break away from that for a bit, though. We'll see how it goes...

Stephanie@thecrackedslipper said...

Maybe I will...perhaps it will be The Chicken v/s the Principal that finally lands me the big deal. Who knew I should be writing YA?? :)
Keep us posted! Off to catch up on my short list!

Krista V. said...

Stephanie, ha! What genre do you write?