Here are five things I Am Stardust taught me about writing.
1. Don't rush.
Sometimes I want to just rush through the first draft just to get it finished. However, this leaves me with a ridiculously fast pace that's really hard to fix and a messier first draft. Yes, first drafts are supposed to be messy--hence it's alternate term, the rough draft--but it's easier to edit a more complete manuscript.
2. Plan out action scenes.
This is just something that makes the first draft easier for me. Planning out the things that are going to happen in the scene before I write about them in more detail helps the pacing. (And like I said in the above point, it makes it easier to edit later. I'm all for easier editing.) If I have a plan laid out, the scene intimidates me less, and I don't rush through it as much.
3. Enjoy the frivolous scenes that may get cut later.
I Am Stardust taught me to enjoy the small scenes that may get taken out later. That time when you took a break from the main plot so the main characters could go get coffee may just make you fall even more in love with the story your heart desires to tell. Does it really further the plot? Who cares. This is one thing you shouldn't dwell on when writing your first draft. Write the scenes your heart wants to write.
4. Try to get into the story every day.
Yes, this is one of those things that EVERY PRO WRITER SAYS, but it's really important. Staying in the story helped me keep the feel of the story and it's characters in my head the entire time. I didn't have to go back and remember who they are and what they want. I kept the story fresh in my mind. (This doesn't mean you have to write every single day no matter what, but keep in the story as often as possible.) Again, this not only helps your motivation, it also keeps a cleaner first draft.
5. Don't be afraid to make it personal.
I Am Stardust turned out to be a very personal story. A lot of the internal struggle my main character goes through is similar to something I went through a few years ago. Obviously the circumstances are different (I didn't become a superhero lol), but the heart of the story is the same.
What have your WIPs taught you about writing? How has your writing process changed?