This is the first year I've finished Script Frenzy before the last day, which is a personal accomplishment. Last year I mostly stayed on track for the whole month, despite writing a musical, but I played the catchup game all the years before that. This year I bounced between falling behind and getting ahead, and the final push to the finish resulted in my cruising through the last fifteen pages.
The big lesson I've learned this year: No more adaptations. The idea was great in theory. I was going to use a screenplay to outline the next version of my novel, and I'd use the screenplay to fill in holes in the story. What I really wound up doing was writing some of the scenes that haven't been written yet and then adapting what I had already written. Oops. While the script tells a story, there are huge holes from new scenes I wrote in the beginning and never developed later thanks to my development of old scenes.
Some good did come out of the adaptation. I got to see my book in a new light. Some scenes in books don't adapt well to movies, like those with one person doing a lot of thinking. I had a lot of those scenes in the first draft, probably from writing so quickly and figuring out what should come next. Many of those scenes will be cut, but some are important, like a scene where a character is taking in a lot of information while alone. We'll see what happens to it later, but it stands for now. My rule of thumb was "If it's boring in the book, it's definitely boring in the movie." And if it's boring in the movie, I can skip the effort and not include it.
What happens next? I've been challenged to write something in exactly 1667-word increments for May, meaning I should figure out an idea for that. There are a few ideas bouncing around my mind right now, but I want to save them for NaNoWriMo or the Three-Day Novel weekend. I have time to figure this out, right?
On the editing front, I know that major changes will be happening to both the pumpkin novel and the alternate worlds novel, so it's probably time to sit down and think my way through the books before sitting down and writing yet another crappy draft. That's right. I have to face The Outline. Everyone has to face it eventually. May it not consume my soul.