Progress: 16,393 words written.
This week I’ve slowed down somewhat; I spent time looking back at what I’d done and editing. I did that because I saw a great webinar on what should be in your first two pages (the two that end up in any potential agent’s inbox).
This was what I learned:
1. Your first two pages should demonstrate 3 things: your hook, the stakes, and your character’s voice.
2. Tighten your prose whenever possible (don’t use three sentences when one will do).
3. Tighten the ‘frame’ of any scene. This basically means don’t mix exposition and action – keep them separate whenever possible in order to keep your reader in the moment.
It’s so easy to give yourself a list like this, but applying it is harder. I’ve had to make some very harsh decisions in the last few days and I lost about 2,000 words in the process, but I think my novel is flowing better because of it – so I’m planning to keep these tips at the forefront of my mind as I continue on with my rough, rough, rough first draft.
Going forward I plan to do less editing and more writing, because right now I need to see my word count increasing not decreasing! There’ll be time enough for that later…
The other thing I want to do is read someone else’s writing this week – I need to pick up a book one evening instead of stressing about my own writing.