I'm determined to crank out a WIP that is NOT rife with errors that need to be fixed during the second draft. So I'm reading and studying along with my writing. (Soon I'll stop sleeping and eating, too.)
Here's what I'd like to throw out to you today: How many of you pay attention to the one-quarter rule? That is, your novel is completely set up and the first plot point smacked down by the time you are 25 percent in.
For a 60K novel, that's at around 15K. And for my projected 75K novel, it's 18.5K, give or take.
And I'm almost there.
So in attempting to make this story arc WORK THE FIRST TIME, I am making a concerted effort to place my first plot point right where it belongs. It'll be either the end of chapter 7 or chapter 8, depending on everything else that needs to line up before then.
I'm in the middle of chapter 6. So you can imagine how I'm pressuring myself right now.
Last night I propped myself in bed with Beatrice and a glass of (cheap) Chardonnay, and made a bullet list of things-that-need-to-happen. I can move these around, delete the ones that aren't necessary, and hopefully come up with a clear road map to the End of Act One.
Then I'll feel all happy and professional.
It's boiling down to craft for me. The actual writing feels more like breathing every day. So, yeah. Craft.
What about you? Do you give thought to things like this while you draft? Have you applied the one-quarter rule to your own writing with any success?
And if you have a minute, will you please mail me some chocolate? Preferably packed in dry ice. I'm sure that'll make this whole process much easier.