Brandon Discovers Discovery Writing – Episode II

So part of my post-Can*Con, post World Fantasy Convention plan is to significantly amp up my productivity on my current novel project, which I started in the summer and which fell by the wayside a bit due to the new school year (and then a new, permanent teaching position) and the need to focus on some other projects. Between several doses of extra encouragement during those two conventions, an excellent brainstorming session on Archivos Podcast, and agreeing to a weekly productivity check-in with fellow writer KT Bryski (check out her work, by the way – it’s awesome) I’ve been writing pages upon pages of development notes for draft 2, and getting much more excited about this novel, tentatively titled Three Coins of Silver.

You might recall that back in the summer I posted that I was going to try my hand at discovery writing Three Coins (if you actually pay enough attention to this blog that you do remember that, I’ll be impressed enough to gladly Tuckerize you somewhere in this novel). Part of my roadblock over the last couple of months, I think, was that I was moving too quickly with that process; churning out 3000 words in a sitting is great, but if your plot is going off the rails and you don’t realize it, those 3000 words don’t do you much good. One of the pieces of advice I got during the Archivos Podcast, from Cerece Rennie Murphy, was to “take it slow” due to how much I have going on in this novel. And the more notes I make for draft 2, the more I realize how slow I need to take things so that everything comes together the way I want.

So discovery writing isn’t off the table, but odds are my process for draft 2 is going to be a hybrid. The amount of notes I’m making is going to naturally lend itself to a bit of outlining, but filling in the details within that outline will occur as I’m writing. And making the changes to draft 2 (and subsequent drafts) is going to be much easier because of my previous discovery writing, in which I purposefully left gaps in my worldbuilding so I could focus on my characters. Though I’m changing some fundamentals about their backstories and relationships to each other, their individual voices and mannerisms will be the same, and those came about as I got to know them in draft 1.

So while I won’t be 100% discovery writing for the remainder of this project (cuz frankly that would be a little nuts) I’ll still be playing around and building things as I go. Thing of it like a best of both worlds scenario. The most important thing is that I’m excited – because that, fellow writers, is the key ingredient in the best writing. And I’ll keep updating you here, in the hopes that it inspires writing of your own!

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