As a first time writer in the 3-Day Novel contest, I had a few challenges today I thought I’d share with you all. Here are the top 10 lessons I’ve learned on my first day:
1. Make the brownies the day before even though you’re sure you can stay disciplined and eat right. I ended up making them half way through the day anyways.
2. Name as many of your characters as you can ahead of time or set aside various names you can use. I left out a bunch of minor characters’ names and spent a half hour naming seven of them this afternoon.
3. Writing a second novel in a series is time consuming when you start it because you have to write in reminders from the previous book so that the new storyline makes sense to the reader. I thought this would be easy. I was wrong.
4. Don’t worry about naming your chapters. I gave up naming them three chapters in because it was more than I wanted to think about.
5. Make sure you’re not using an old manuscript template. If you’re a perfectionist like me, messing with paragraph tags is just another distraction you don’t need.
6. Don’t ask your 16 year old to step in and make pizza for dinner. I spent half the time it would have taken me to make the pies providing him with directions. And, LOL, he still forgot to put the sauce on before the other ingredients. All turned out well and everyone loved the pizza. However *sigh* later he complained that he cooked, so I should clean the kitchen. The other 2 men in the house couldn’t help either because they were watching college football.
7. Don’t invite family to stay with you for the weekend. Michael’s uncle and cousin from Grand Junction are staying with us this weekend. I absolutely love when they visit, but wanting to socialize is too tempting.
8. Expect your dogs to behave badly. I had to get the bitter spray out today because the baying beagles were out of control. Any other time they’d be sleeping the day away after their six mile morning walk.
9. Forget about keeping a clean house. Although emptying and loading two dishwasher loads did give me a chance to work through a couple scenes in my head. The cat puke all over the couch cover did nothing for my creativity…ARGH!
10. Figure out which tense you’re going to write in ahead of time and stick to it. The first Courier novel is written in the awkward first person present. I got a bright idea to write book 2 in first person past. Only problem is my brain still wants to let Barry tell the story as it progresses. So that perfectionist in me went back over 14 pages of mixed tense and fixed it. Another 30 minutes of lost writing time.