When you write a novel, there are a lot of ways you need to move. Such as forward. To be honest, forward should actually be the only way you travel. Many try to write a novel and then edit as they go. Others write in chunks and then edit each chunk as they go.
I may not be a novelist to the point of writing dozens and dozens of novels, but there is something that I have learned:
Reasons for Forward
I had written about a chapter for a story of mine. A five book series actually. I am not one to have a lot of time to finish creative projects with life going on, so I would do what I could when the urge came to me. Every time I would start working on it again, especially with months in between, I would re-read what I had already written, and, having changed in writing style because I’m still learning, I would edit the same pages again and again.
And did I ever get to the “writing more” part? No. I would usually end up using my time and spare energy on those dozen pages and then stop again.
Annnnd repeat. And repeat I did for more than 10 years…
This is no way to write a book, especially when it keeps you stagnating for 10 years. Something needed to change.
Whenever someone writes a book, it is assumed that edits have to occur. No matter what. You can be Stephen King if you want, but there is nothing that will stop the need for edits to any book, novel or short story. So, this being the case:
You may not even like the story and/or know there are places that you need to add more content, but it is more important to get the words down on paper, get them thoughts into your word processor, get the story from the beginning to the end, build a foundation before you edit anything.
Don’t look back at what you wrote or what you need to write, just move forward. Every time you feel like writing. That is what you should do. Write. Do not edit. Not until you are finished. Make notes as you go should you need to but don’t edit until you are ready to do so.
This technique served me well during NaNoWriMo 2012. Guess who finished and won the contest? I never looked back. I simply moved forward.
Forward… Always forward…
Enjoy. And Reed.