Drafting and revising a novel, the illustrated version

I draft and revise a novel the way I draw a horse (or the way I would draw a horse if I could draw horses). Here is my illustrated process.

I’m a planner, though I’m terrible at planning. As I draft the first terrible draft of my new WIP, I have to keep reminding myself that all a first draft has to do is exist.

I’m not always very convincing, even to myself. But they do say pictures are more convincing than words. (Or was that chocolate?) In any case, I decided to draw some pictures to better convince myself.

My first draft can be ugly. Like this horse.

A very bad line drawing of a horse. I mean, there are legs pointing everywhere.
First draft horse. It’s clearly a horse. It has a head, four legs, and a tail.
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How to write fast(er)

I read three books on writing faster and cherry picked techniques from them to try to increase my drafting output. Here’s how it’s going so far.

Public service announcement: I don’t write writing advice blog posts. If anything sounds like a writing advice blog post, it isn’t. It’s just me mulling over something that worked for me or something I’m trying. This may be such a post.

Six days ago, when I felt like I was going in circles trying to plan my new novel, I decided to throw in the towel and just start writing it. It’s been some time since I drafted, so I expected to be a little rusty. It could have been worse, except I seem to have forgotten how to write in conflict even when I have it all lined up and ready to go, and I’ve forgotten that description even exists.

But those are problems for a revision to fix.

Right now I want to get the bones of my story down so I have something to edit. And as quickly as possible because, you know, I’m impatient. My last first draft, which I believe came in at about 140k words, took me three months. That was fine, but wouldn’t it be fun if I could write this one faster? Then I could get more quickly to the real work of bringing the story to life.

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