Don’t edit during the draft phase.

Take a break every hour or so.

Save electronic material as you work.

Pencil sketch © Ann M. Lynn
L.B., a minor character in DeCo


On Monday, I forgot all of this advice while working on DeCo. Fortunately, I wrote notes in longhand during the first two and a half hours of analyzing, minor edits, and scene reorganization and so could duplicate my work in a fifth of the time.

On Wednesday, I fled to the house of two of my friends so I could pick apart more plot holes. There are so many! Until I’m confident in my outline again, I doubt I’ll expand the current story draft by much.

For the record, the current draft of DeCo has hovered around 30,000 words for the past month or two.

This weekend is all about brainstorming. I plan to do some more before going to bed tonight. À tout à l’heure!


11 thoughts on “Break!”

  1. Why would reading my post have stopped you from publishing this?

    Did you discuss the plot with your friends? I find doing that helps so much. I love seeing the reaction of others, and brainstorming! And I see you are journaling your thoughts about the novel – something I recently began and wow, does it make a difference for me!

    My gosh – don’t forget to save!

    Love the sketch! She has an intensity about her.

    1. Hm, a couple comments in your post reminded me of mine, so I wondered if my post looked unoriginal. Now that I’m fully awake, I can see the posts are sufficiently different.

      I’m terrified of discussing the specifics of my novel with friends. Maybe if I’d grown up with them and didn’t have to worry about scaring people away with my more eccentric ideas, then I could tell a friend or few about my plot. Unfortunately, there’s no one but family that has to keep me around if I get on their nerves too much.

      My husband REALLY doesn’t want to be a part of my process, though I do force him to listen to my rambles during moments of desperation.

      Journaling is one of the most reliable ways to work through story problems. It’s a sanity-saver, though slow going at times.

      I’m glad you like my sketch, Jennifer.

      1. I had to come back and have a second look! Now that I am looking again, I wonder why I thought she straight off the bat. It can really go either way for me. I think it’s the eyes…

        1. It is the eyes. Smaller, more angular eyes give him a more masculine look (and better fit my mental picture).

  2. Well if those brainstorms get a little out of control, I have a friend that specializes in storms. Although he’s more likely to make them than stop them…

  3. Ann, I hope your brainstorming weekend went well. I love when that happens in my critique group. Even when we brainstorm about another member’s writing, it inspires my writing.

    I applaud you for putting your artwork out there. Do you draw all your characters?

    1. Brainstorming gave me enough concepts to move forward.

      I confess that I dislike half of the above drawing. The ear is too small, the eyes are too big, and *something* makes him (yeah, a guy) too girly. However, I’m proud of the other half and of my developing ability to identify weak areas.

      My goal is to draw all of my POV characters, regardless of species. L.B. is minor in DeCo but has his own (unfinished) short story set a couple years after the novel. I’m currently working on a full-body drawing of the novel’s MC.

      1. Actually, I saw your character as a male because of the strong jaw and cleft chin. I, too, think it’s the eyes and the petite nose that reads feminine.

        “Regardless of species” ha-ha, this is not something I have to consider in portraying my characters.

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