"What gets dated gets done." - David Foster (twitter:@DavidHFoster)
Having a deadline for the first draft of my Unicorn story has been a motivating force in my planning. The same dynamic of a deadline did not seem to help me in November for NaNoWriMo. Even so, emboldened by the sense of urgency the Unicorn deadline has created, I have decided to create a deadline for the first draft of my WIP. Like the Unicorn deadline, I need to treat this deadline as if it was coming from an outside force like an agent or publisher, even though the deadline is entirely self imposed.
I have chosen August 31st as the deadline for my first draft. I think that it is equal parts attainable and challenging. My goal in doing this is to help me push through and get some writing done on those nights when I'm not motivated to work on my WIP.
In way of confession, Dream Chaser (working title) is the third novel length story I've attempted. The other two are unfinished in various stages on my hard drive. As I look at them now, with a more trained, yet still very green eye, I can see that both lacked bones or structure. They were literally just sit down and write and make it up as I went along. I got to about the middle of both and lost steam. I was like a traveler who knew where he was starting, and had a pretty good idea of where he wanted to go. But I was unfamiliar with the streets and directions and somewhere along the way I got lost.
To address this, I've completed a rough outline of the whole story (and when I say rough I mean like being dragged behind a car on one of those roads with the little rocks in the asphalt rough.) It's not a textbook three act story structure, but it should be enough to get the first draft done. Then the real work can start, editing.