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.
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!Adrian