(Writing advice I disagree with #1)
I believe NANOWRIMO made the advice to never go back and edit during your rough draft stage very popular. And, over the years, it seems to be one of the top items on everyone’s writing suggestions. Keep your focus forward – Don’t look back – Ignore your inner editor – Just get that word count!
A couple of days ago, I wrote the first 2011 words of my book. According to my progress graph (on the right side bar), I had completed 4% of my goal. But then I thought about where I needed this story to go. I’m not an outliner, but I do have major turning points/scenes of the book in my head. And the beginning that I had just written was not going to get me there. I had to go back and fix it.
I didn’t have to start at a blank page again, but I did have to rewrite a lot of it. And I probably rewrote at least 1500 words. But my word count didn’t go up that much. My new word count is 2394, which – according to the progress bar – is still 4%. No progress. But I disagree. If I would have pushed on, ignored my inner critic, I would have wasted a lot of time because my entire concept would have failed.
(Side Note – I have had success with the NaNo method. I wrote my two YA fairy tale inspired books this way. However, I have two other 50,000-word drafts that I haven’t touched because they are horrible messes. So for me, it worked half the time.)
So although you do have to have words to complete a novel, you can’t only judge your progress by your word count. And sometimes doing what is best for your book might not always agree with the advice of the masses.
Love and Laughter,
(More post on – Writing Advice I Disagree With – coming soon.)