Raising my hand at this month’s theme. Oh yes. I’ve made many mistakes along the way in my writing journey. Like the time I pitched an agent when I only had three chapters completed. Which is a good example of how mistakes can be learning opportunities because I will never do that again. 😉
But today, I want to focus on an issue that is ongoing. I don’t know if this is a mistake so much as an unhelpful tendency, but the early drafts of my mysteries tend to hover around 50K. In fact, with my first one, no matter how much I wrote, I was stuck on 50K for several years! And here’s the thing: they weren’t even the same 50K words…I would add thousands and thousands of words, rejoicing as my word count rose, then I’d revise out some of the old stuff (I am a ruthless reviser, which is part of the issue, I know), and it would end up too short again.
While I understand that this is my process, it’s painful and deflating. I get to a place of utter confusion, where I don’t know what to do to make it any longer, and I go about wailing and gnashing my teeth and doubting that I’ll ever be able to write anything ever again.
Believe me, I’ve explored all sorts of developmental possibilities, like subplots, expanded descriptions, new characters, new conflicts, etc. Those do lead to progress…then I revise something else out…well, you get the picture. Sigh.
Anyone else have this issue? What do you do? Or what do you struggle with in drafts?