Wednesday, October 01, 2008

JASPER: Complete @ 95k

I wanted to complete the first draft of the JASPER novel by 9/30, and I did! The word count came in at 95k, which is quite a bit over the original goal of 60k, and even the revised goal of 80k. This is now technically a completed first draft, but in reality the first half of the manuscript has been edited quite thoroughly, and is really on draft #7, at least. So, the bulk of the work that remains will focus on the second half, in particular several of the last chapters, which are quite rough. I will shorten to a maximum of 80k.

The recent planning paid off as I was able to look at my extended table of contents and remember what each chapter was supposed to address (goals, complications), and then sit down and write it. One at a time, I made my way through each chapter of Act III. The material feels right, and the antagonist issue worked out well, but the strengths/weaknesses issue remains a concern. I'll focus on that tonight when I reflect on the recent material and write notes to guide me in the editing of the second half.

After tonight, however, I'm not sure if I'll carry on directly to the editing of the JASPER novel, or will return to the editing of the JACK & JILL novel, or whether I might take a "Creative Break" or even a short breather then dive in to another new story, the "CHASM" novel which I had planned out in detail over the summer. I'm eager to start that one, when the time is right. I think I should edit, though, because I very much want to complete one story or the other by year's end -- that should be a priority. Whether it's JASPER or JACK & JILL doesn't matter, just that I actually finish something this year, to the point of a completed, edited and polished final manuscript. That was my goal last year, and I didn't make it. This year it is possible and more than worth aiming for.

I'd do a little happy dance and shout for joy at the completion of JASPER, but the truth is I'm too frustrated after the last several chapters to feel the joy right now. Once I reflect on what I wrote, and tie up the one remaining loose end about strengths and weaknesses, then I'll feel like celebrating. And, I will. That's something we should always do when we reach a major goal.

Best wishes to others in completing their drafts or rewrites,



scott said...


I've been having a lull in my creative muse lately, but seeing your progress has been very inspiring. Just the thought of that day, so far from now, when the manuscript of the first book will be completed (much less to consider the other books in the series I've been planning) is so enticing that it makes me want to start writing right away. Congratulations on the significant progress, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Adrian Swift said...

Thank you, Scott!

Yes, it helps to take the long view and think of all the stories we want to write over time. That helps us keep the present story in perspective as just one creative project among many. It also helps drive us on, knowing we have so much more to do. And it takes patience, patience, patience, along with urgency, dedication, perseverance, and so many other things, as you know.

Wishing you success in waking your muse,


Wynn Bexton said...

Bravo, Adrian! Good for you.
I've been so busy lately between new classes, travel writing stuff and Planet Eye stuff not to speak of the busy social calander, that I am now a bit behind on my schedule for the novel. However, it's on my mind big time and I hope to resume work this week.

Scotty said...

Hey Adrian,

I was inspired by your progress, so I've been jumpstarting a new schedule of writing as well as a blog that allows me to track my progress. I wanted to let you know about it, since I'd definitely love to hear your opinion when I talk about the ruminations of the process of writing.

Adrian Swift said...

Hi, Scotty!

I checked out your new blog and am so impressed!

I'll post some comments to your blog soon.


Adrian Swift said...


thanks for stopping by! I've been following your blog and know how busy you are these days. I'm happy you are finding so many cool things to do, and so many cool writing-related things, too. I'm sure you'll carve out some time for your writing soon.

I've tried posting comments on your blog in the past weeks and months and can't always do that. I think Blogger has a bug that is preventing me from doing that because I upgraded my blog to the new Beta version of Blogger. I read a little about that and found out that people who are using the new Beta version can't post comments on non-Beta blogs. I'm no expert, but just wanted you to know I've tried posting comments on several occasions and have been unable to do so. That's true for Gabriele's Lost Fort blog as well, same type of glitch.

I'll keep trying, though!

Best wishes, Wynn, for getting into your novel-writing soon. Autumn is a good season for writing....