I wish I could say it’s because I’m buckled down and writing, but honestly it’s mostly the NHL playoffs. For productivity, I’m better off when the Rangers miss the playoffs.
I am writing, though. Painfully close to finishing the novel I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. I was originally hoping to finish it by December 31, 2011. Then it was January 31, then April 30. Now I’m aiming for May 31. May the gods of writing and Henrik Lundqvist will it so.
The second month of revisions is one of those times I start to loathe a manuscript. The good news is, things are moving fast. I don’t think there will be a third month before this draft is ready for test readers.
The highlight so far: My goal for this book was to market it at under 100,000 words. When I finished the first rough draft, it was 120,000+ words, and I was left to figure out how to cut nearly a fifth of the narrative. By the time I finished my read-through, I realized I’d duplicated a few chapters and passages by virtue of my not-so-thorough understanding of Scrivener. Removing those passages knocked the overall length down to around 96,000. The only word for that: Huzzah.
Further revisions have me down to nearly 90,000 words, and I’m not quite halfway through yet. This is especially good because I think it will take 10-15 thousand words to fill in gaps I’m finding as I go. I expect the final first draft (which I share with test readers) to clock in around 96,000 words, give or take 3,000.
The bad part is, I was hoping to have this revision completed by the end of 2011. I even thought about wrapping a first draft as a gift for some of my test readers (the ones who read my work because they enjoy it, rather than as a favor to me). At the pace I’m moving, though, it looks like I’ll be wrapping up my first revision sometime in January. Not that I’m complaining.
My process, in a nutshell: I don’t like to start revisions until I’ve finished a first draft, and try (somewhat successfully) to avoid even looking back at earlier chapters while I’m writing. Yes, this means there’s some inconsistency with plot, location, names, and such. I’m okay with that – the important thing is forward momentum. Continue Reading
…and sometimes the words flow like a newly tapped gusher. I hate myself for spending a good two hours dallying on the Internet before getting down to work last night, but once I actually got to it I crossed 1,000 words and ended up with something more like 1,500 – and I know exactly where I’m going to pick up tonight. That’s been rare lately.
I don’t like to write too much about works in progress, but I will say that while I approached the current novel with an outline as always, there were a couple of gray areas where I admit I didn’t exactly know how characters were going to get from Point A to Point B. It’s that point in Star Wars when the good guys are stuck in that trash compactor, and the weird eye-snake has tugged Luke down into the drink [No, not literally.] and the next thing on the storyboard is they’re all back in the Millenium Falcon making their daring escape. I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally figured out what comes in the middle. Well, most of it anyway. As often happens with a work in progress, a character has surprised me in a very unexpected way, one I certainly would not have predicted when I wrote that original outline. Continue Reading