I currently have 9 first drafts actively in process and 3 first drafts awaiting edits. While my writing goals have kept me writing, and more so than I would have without them, they haven’t fixed my real problem of never finishing the stories I begin. As I’ve noted a number of times, my process is largely that of ‘Discovery Writing’. I think of a situation, magic system, technology, or even just a character that would be of interest, and then just run with it. While this is good practice for characters, settings and dialogue, I think that it lacks the focus I need to really sharpen my plotting skills, which I see as my biggest weakness. Raw word counts aren’t going to fix this problem, or at least I don’t see how they will. What other goals should I be striving towards to motivate plot line practice?
Lately, I’ve done structure analysis on movies and books I like: outlining them from memory and identifying the key moments on which the story pivoted. While this is fun, in a sense, and definitely sharpens some of those critical skills, does it actually help me develop plots of my own? Or does it only better prepare me to steal and lift from others?
My other dilemma is that today marks the start of the Summer NaNoWriMo session. I had set my heart on doing this and then in the last two weeks I talked my self out of it, due to looming deadlines everywhere I looked. Today as I struck it off my TO DO list I felt a little sad though. Writing isn’t my job yet, isn’t paying any bills (whatsoever) and should be fun, so maybe I should just NaNo my little heart out.