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Freewriting my way to 100K words and a final first draft

It's a new year and with it comes plenty of new energy and renewed commitments to ongoing projects. I've been in the midst of a longterm work for a number of years now. What began as a possible mystery novel has, throuh several years of story development, evolved into a major project that will easily keep me busy for the next ten years. Thanks to Don Maass, his books, and his workshops, I've taken a rather pedestrian amateur sleuth mystery idea and transformed it into a crime novel with a homicide detective that delights me in a world that continues to intrigue me. I'm fascinated with the project, the characters, and its potential. Instead of my interest waning after 3-4 years locked in story development, I find I'm intrigued and happy to be immersed in this world. I absolutely love what I'm doing now and every day is a new day exploring characters who live in a world that is alive and well in my imagination.

Last month I began a 100K freewrite draft. In three weeks I wrote just under 53K words. That's a lot, even for me, but I'm not surprised since this book has been the focus of my imagination and my subconscious for so many years. It's not a chronological draft. I'd tried several times to write a full draft of the story but it always fell flat. But in December I had the urge to toss all the other pages and begin anew with a total freewrite. No notes, no outllines, no previous manuscript pages. Cold turkey, cold writing. It was great and culminated with me writing more than 8,000 words New Year's Day. What a way to bring in 2009.

I've taken a break from the daily writing the last couple of weeks but in that space the second book has blown through and taken up residence. Now I'm being introduced to minor characters appearing in the first book who will take a more upfront role in the next case. It's fun to experience all this and I love the way everything is coming together after so many years. I'm so glad I made a conscious decision to not rush the process this time and it's paying off in a big way now. 

I'm getting ready to do the final push toward the magic 100K number. My goal is to have this freewrite draft finished by the time I attend Don's Breakout Novel Intensive in the middle of February. So I guess I better stop this post and get back to writing–on the book. We'll talk later. 

Recommended Reads: Writing the Breakout Novel; Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook; The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great


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