Beneath The DarknessEvidence Of My Insanity

In Which I Have, Yet Again, Proven My Insanity

So, y’all remember that Creepy Faces / Beneath The Darkness book I’ve been talking about for a while? The scary one that I’ve written about 45,000 words in?

Yeah, I’m probably going to scrap it.

The problem is this: I just can’t make it do what I want it to do. Like, I have this idea of what I want it to be, but it’s too convoluted and I can’t figure out how to make it OBEY.

It has been DIFFICULT, Grasshoppers.


And then a couple days ago, I had this kind of awesome idea about how to take it in a totally different direction, but it will require starting all over, which I did today. I wrote a brand new first chapter. And I like it. It needs work, but I like it.


I’m also working on this funny contemporary book about two college freshmen who go on a study abroad program to Spain.

“Anne! Didn’t you do that in real life?” someone out there asks.

Yes, but I did it when I was a sophomore, so it’s TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

Anyway, it’s pretty hilarious so far, if I do say so myself, and honestly I’m in a bit of a quandary here.

CREEPY FACES is the book I feel like I need to write. It will be great, I know it, and very sellable.

UNTITLED CONTEMPORARY is the book I WANT to write at the moment.

If I work on both of them at the same time, my head might explode and also it will take me twice as long to complete the first drafts of each book.

Clearly, the only solution is to buy index cards, make a spreadsheet, and crank these suckers out.

I say that like it’s actually that easy. ARE YOU FOOLED? Ha, haaaaaaaaa.

I wish I could write a book in ten days, like some people out there. Although, I wonder what their first drafts look like? Messy? Full of mistakes?

Hmmm. So “writing a book in ten days” might really mean “spending months and months on revisions because I went too fast.”

What do y’all think? What is your fastest time for writing a first draft? How much of it did you use in the final manuscript, and how much did you scrap? What’s your favorite way to draft?


12 thoughts on “In Which I Have, Yet Again, Proven My Insanity

  1. The fastest I’ve ever written a first draft was 2 weeks, last summer while on holiday in Crete. Actually that’s a lie. I cranked out 60k in 2 weeks and then didn’t touch it again until a few weeks ago when I slapped an ending on it. I’m currently editing it. It needs a LOT of work. However, I’ve learned tons since I wrote the main bulk of it, so I don’t think the first draft would have been much better if I’d spent more time on it, because I didn’t know then what I know now.

    I started off drafting on paper (how I’ve always done it), but then switched to using Scrivener. I can edit in red and see changes in the same way as on paper, but I won’t have to type it all in at the end.

    Good luck with both of your ideas 🙂

  2. The fastest I ever completed an entire first draft was six weeks. And yeah, I had to scrap / rewrite A LOT.

    I’m a big fan of outlining now. I figure, take the time up front and save it in the long run.

    Would you consider writing one first draft while taking breaks to detailed-outline the other? Just so your brain feels like it’s getting traction on both?

    1. I might do something like that, actually. Sometimes my brain gets tired of thinking about the same story, so it might help me creatively to have something else to outline while I write. Great idea! Thanks!

  3. I try not to be jealous of those writers who can churn out the word count. But I just can’t do that. The fastest that I’ve ever finished a book is six months (and only because I’d written part of it years earlier).

    1. I don’t think I’m fast like that, either. It just seems like I would have to redo the entire thing, you know?

  4. It took me nearly two years to finish the draft for my second novel. So I guess that makes me some kind of Terrence Malick. I couldn’t imagine turning anything more than around 10k in a matter of weeks.

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