Frontloading the Words

I’m not even sure if frontloading is a real word, at least in the sense that I’m using it. I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that often times I’ll stop writing before I’ve run out of words. **

Which might sound a little strange, until I realized I’m doing it so I’ve got an easy start the next day. If I’ve already got something to work with, it makes the rest of it that much easier.

Or that’s the theory, anyway. Sometimes I just put down that bit of a scene and then twiddle my thumbs for a while as I figure out where to go next. Panster issues, for certain.

I’ve mentioned before I do my best brainstorming in the shower. On some days (if I’m home alone), and I’m stuck, it’s not uncommon for me to take three or more, although one is usually more than enough. Maybe it’s an avoidance technique, but it seems to work.

At any rate, I should be up to about 80k by the end of today – which gives me four weeks to get the last 20k or so done. Ideally, I’d like to get it wrapped up in two weeks, and give myself a little padding to start ironing out the details before I hand it in. There are definitely some rough spots, but I’ve also had some great reworking ideas hit me in that shower the last few days.

In some ways, being a panster is a bit like trying to figure out a jigsaw puzzle – only it’s based on the edges of the pieces you have – the bigger picture doesn’t always show up until that first draft is done.

** See, that’s the noble excuse I’m giving myself. Frontloading. The truth? Civ 5 has sucked my soul into a dry little husk of settlers and workers and giant freaking robots until 3 AM most nights this week. Deadline? What deadline? I’ve got a world to inflict my superior dominion on.

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