As of today, I’m just under 40k words of a first rough draft. It’s going to be a hot mess to edit – because it’s all notes and bursts of dialogue and some plot and many plot holes. It’s embarrassing and difficult to transcribe, but occasionally I’m bolstered by something decent landing on the page – but it’s a weird feeling seeming it in my handwriting. Feels like it came from somewhere else lol.
I’m transcribing 4 days worth of handwritten notes everyday, so I can print this first rough draft out and let it ferment for a while in a draw out of sight until I’ve forgotten some of it.
Once it’s all printed and packed away and I’m purged of all associated ideas, my plan is to pick it up in January. Maybe find something else to distract me during that period – spend more quality time with German than I have been.
The most important thing I got out of this year, is to turn the process into a habit. (Thanks Atomic Habits! – I re-listen to you at the first sign of every major wobble!) Systems really are more effective than goals.
The internet is not very becoming on what to do after the first rough draft has fermented. Since this is intended to be in a comic format, the second rough draft should probably be thumbnail sketches of scenes, right?
What works for me (and my massive little friend, my ego) is relying on small wins every day. It’s also been an incredibly satisfying experience seeing it pile up after a month or two. The question for January is: how many rough sketches could I systematically extruded from the 30-odd days? Transforming the word-dump into an image-dump?
The method that worked for the word-dump was setting clear timed sprints – write roughly a page or 250 words in 15min. That way there’s no time to take time to be critical – the focus is on covering 7 pages with a wall of ink, and then not thinking about it for the rest of the day because it’s done. Somewhere in the quantity there might could be some quality waiting – but that’s not my job right now.
So, a similar approach with the thumbnails could be 5 thumbnails in 15min? That’s quick enough that with a song in the background I can gauge if it’s been 3min (thank you Lynda Barry!). So 7×5 is 35 thumbnails every day, for 31 days is 1085 thumbnail sketches. Cool.
If these are to be moved around and reorganized in a later edit, maybe I should make each thumbnail the same size — so index cards, right? Image on the front and scene description on the back. I’ve been enjoying writing with a fountain pen because I can just refill it when the pen runs dry. Now, I wonder if this is a nice excuse to get a refillable felt tip pen – or one that has that line quality?