I survived my Book in a Week marathon and did pretty well, if I may say so myself. Not surprisingly, though, I broke some rules AND I did not write the entire first draft. I’m not sure I expected to. Not really. Though I had hope.
I noticed something vital about myself and my writing during my marathon week. I need the details. I need character reactions. I cannot just write the story without all the layers, the angst, the passion, because those layers and passion are what drive my plot. The way a character responds to a given moment, leads me in the direction s/he needs to go.
That’s not to say my story gets away from me and winds up in the fickle hands of my fictional characters. No. It means, I have direction and will get there, but whether I take the highway or the scenic route is up to ‘them’ not me. Forcing the story out is like driving through a torrential downpour. Yeah. You’ll get there but only because you wanted it to be over. Not because you were enjoying the ride.
When I give my characters a chance to absorb what I’d thrown at them, they reward me with texture I could not create on a second pass. Well, maybe I could, I don’t know. What I do know is how the freshness of the moment, of the reaction, drives my story forward. And so, BIAW might not work for me as it works for others, but then, everyone’s process is unique and I find it rewarding to have found just a little bit of magic in mine.