For those of you who haven't been following my blog for the last couple of years I'll explain a bit about where I'm at right now. I have previously written two historical fiction novels in the 2005 and 2006 NaNoWriMo competitions (NaNoWriMo= National Novel Writing Month). My 2005 novel was based on my maternal grandparents' lives in the west side Polish community of Detroit from the time they emigrated in 1912 and 1913 and into the 1940s. My 2006 novel was based on my paternal great grandparents' lives in the east side Polish community of Detroit during the mid 1880s. I really enjoyed writing these books and I learned a lot about the writing process as a result.
The main things I learned were:
- I can write a first draft of a novel in a month, start to finish, and not go crazy doing it. It takes some planning and a lot of focus and determination but it's not as wacky as it first sounds.
- It is helpful to me and the people around me to know when I will start and when I will finish. Having a "due date" is good because the writing process gets pretty intense, at least for me, and it's nice to know it won't go on indefinitely.
- I write more efficiently when I'm "on a roll". That is to say, I write better when I'm focused on writing and don't give in to the temptation to go back and edit what I've already written. It's harder than you might think to ignore your last paragraph written and push on to the next but it really is critical to getting a novel written in 30 days.
Thanks again for all the comments of support and advice. I really appreciate them! And I'm counting on all you guys to come through with more of the same as I wade into the mucky-bottom waters of writing my family history this summer. :-)