Posted: Friday, January 4th, 2013
So I managed half of my writing objectives for 2012.
I set out to finish a series of books that should collectively arrive at least 150 thousand words. I wrote a little over my target, but still have a few chapters to go before the first drafts are finished. So I both succeeded and failed. Incidentally, this is the most I have ever written in a year, my previous ‘record’ was just half this.
Length is not all. There must be a decent story in there. That is another matter. I am ‘in’ the story at the moment, and it is difficult to know at this stage whether it works. And this is just a first draft. My plans are to finish the last chapters, then put the ms aside. Having just spent about 15 months working on it I have no distance from the project. I need to do something else and then come back to it anew.
When I do come back I will comb through the story, add in pieces where I have just typed XXX or [DESC], check dates and names, and generally make sure everything is as consistant as possible. Then I will put it away again. Again, this will probably take me about 3 months, and after that time with my nose in details, it will be difficult to see the wood for the trees.
The next combing through the pages will be to determine the rhythm and development of the story. This will probably entain culling chapters, writing new ones, changing elements, making sure surprise and suspense work as I intend.
At this point, I expect the book[s] will be over 220 thousand words. So, after another pause, I will come in and prune. Reduce. Hack out soggy and sagging parts. Get the book back down to about 180 thousand words.
All these phases will probably take me all of 2013. Only then will I be ready to send it off to beta readers.
Looks like I’ve got a busy year ahead. Hope that you do, too.