Monday, August 1, 2011
How to Handle an Epiphany
But they're probably (almost definitely not) asleep in the next room, so I have a free moment to ask a question:
When you're in the middle of your first draft, and an epiphany changes the first half of your book, do you revise the beginning before you go on? Or do you prefer to avoid losing momentum?
This is an especially hard question if you, like me, are a NaNoWriMo-er. Even in months that aren't November, my technique has always been to plan, make notes, and play with index cards, but when the writing starts, it's sixteen hundred words per day, no stopping, no snacking, no sleeping.
BUT that always gives me a jumbled mess of a first draft, and that's why my revision process often takes eleven times as long as my first draft time (that's an actual estimate, not a random number).
BUT...that's not necessarily a bad thing. Once I have the characters detailed and the plot written out in rough draft form, I really feel like I can get out my chisel and glitter pen and get to work making it a real story.
So that's why I'm here with the question, even though I haven't had a chance to write at all today or do anything much besides trying to prevent foster kid #7 from licking my arm--because I happened to be standing where a great idea landed this week, and I need to know what to do with it.
How do you handle an epiphany?