Friday, November 19, 2010

Golly Gee!

It just kinda figures, don't it? I get myself all organized to start my editing work, and up come a few other things that are totally un-writing-related! And of course those other things are quite pressing! So, I'll have to hold off a week or two (or three) before I get down to work on my new writing goals because I need this time for those other projects.

That said, I did manage to complete the essential planning notes this past week for WIP B, and I did happen to edit 5 of the 80 chapters of WIP A. I'll still fit some work in here or there over the next week or two (or three), but I won't worry about specific productivity goals because I really won't have the time to devote to them.

When I am ready to start work on my new writing goals, I'll reset the deadlines as appropriate.

Wishing Nanoers all the best as they near the final week,


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Setting the Course

After taking a little time to read over the first draft of my WIP, and reflect on how to proceed, I've arrived at a couple of decisions!

First, I want to start immediately on my next WIP even while I begin editing the current WIP. After all, a professional writer should be comfortable juggling more than one project at the same time.

Second, I want to set my new working schedule as follows:

My new "work week" will run from Sunday to Saturday. I'll use Sunday thru Wednesday to work on the "new" WIP ("WIP B"), and Thursday thru Saturday to edit the just-finished, 142,000-word first draft of the "current" WIP ("WIP A").

The first step is to finish planning the new WIP B -- it's a story I've worked on before, so I'm only revising my planning notes and that shouldn't take more than a few days (I've already started this past week). I'll finish planning this week and start the draft next Sunday.

When Thursday rolls around this week, I'll begin editing in earnest of WIP A, the large, recently-completed draft. I've already printed it out in a format I can use for the initial editing, using my new printer -- what a relief it was to see how well it handled the print job! My last printer (an HP) never worked all that well, but this new one (a Canon) never misfed once and the quality is excellent. To help set me up for the editing, I'll gather together the editing notes I wrote while writing the first draft and organize them during the first part of this week, so I'm ready to print them out by Thursday to have a hard copy on hand alongside the printed first draft.

I figure it will take six weeks to complete the draft of the new WIP B, which is a shorter novel, plus this first week to complete the planning. That gives me a deadline of seven weeks for that task, which happens to be January 1, 2011.

I plan to take only three weeks for the preliminary editing of WIP A, which consists primarily of looking for stuff to cut out in order to shorten the lengthy draft. That gives me an intermediate deadline of December 4, 2010.

Then, I'll take four weeks for the first run-through, turning "telling" into "showing" wherever I can, and generally tightening up the prose. That gives me another deadline of January 1, 2011.

At that point, I'll establish the next deadlines for both projects.

In summary:

By December 4th: Complete preliminary editing (cutting down to size) of WIP A.

By January 1st: Complete first editing phase of WIP A; complete draft of WIP B.

Off and running!


Monday, November 08, 2010

Mid-Week Update (7.5 Weeks In)

Finished the final chapters! The first draft of my current WIP is now complete at 80 chapters and 142,040 words. I've also started reading the complete manuscript -- in sequence -- for the first time. I've reached chapter 31 and so far it's holding together very well! I know there are a few continuity issues later on, but these chapters are tight (except for a name or two, here or there). I'll report again after I've completed the reading.

Feels great to see such progress under my belt!


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Week 7: 75 Chapters / 135,077 Words

So close! Almost finished the novel within the past week, writing 18 new chapters and 39,964 new words! That was an amazing week!

There are 5 more chapters to go, the final 5, which I'll estimate at another 6,250 words, give or take a few thousand. I'll finish them up soon, obviously.

It's been quite a juggling act, keeping track of so many details. I remember back a few years to when I finished another lengthy manuscript. I felt as though I were trying to land a large jet aircraft that had been severely damaged, and not all its parts were working --- flashbacks to Karen Black in one of those airplane disaster movies.

Well, this time there has been a bit of minor turbulence, but nothing major. The darned thing is holding together pretty well, all things considered! I'm quite impressed with the enormous benefit I've reaped from having planned the story in detail beforehand. Definitely makes the job a whole lot easier!

Not that writing 140,000 words is "easy."

At this point, I'm debating whether to take a break or move directly into the editing. If I take a break, I can use it to plan my next novel. Either way, I'll start editing as soon as I can, within a couple of weeks. I want to whip this into shape for ABNA in January, if I can. If it takes longer, that's fine, too -- I've put so much work into it, and the story is so worthwhile, once it's done I feel it'll truly be worth something!

Best wishes again to Nanoers, that they reach their word count and other goals in November!


Monday, November 01, 2010

Mid-Week Update (6.5 Weeks In)

Easing up the past couple weeks helped me get through the fatigue and now I'm getting lots done! Of course, it helps that I'm writing the important chapters in the later part of the story -- they're high-interest, suspenseful, full of action, etc.

The current word count stands at 125,250. I've written 30,137 words in only four days! I revised the total chapter goal down to 80 chapters, which will be adjusted during editing as needed. Working within that framework, I have 70 chapters done, and only 10 to go!

With any luck I'll continue at this pace. I hope to finish the first draft sometime later this week!

Wishing all those Nanoers embarking on their noveling frenzy for November the best of luck!