This week’s entry covers the next two weeks, which can only mean that I’m taking a break and plan to do sod all during that time (other than catch up on your comments 💖 and some blog and book reading 🎉 ).
Last week was my first one away from writing the actual story. I’d thought it would be relatively simple and not too taxing on the brain… Until I sat down at my desk at 0600 on Thursday…
Review 5th – 11th May 2022
Here’s what last week’s goal looked like:
- Update all scenes, including editing and research notes, in NovelCreator, Scrivener, and the scene blocking book.
Here’s how that looks on my Kanban board:
When I put all 63 scene cards on my board, I started to panic. I had all of that to complete in five days.
I’d lied to myself about how much work was really involved. It seemed like a simple case of transposing my latest pencilled in blocking sheets for Acts I and II A to the computer. And, for Acts II B and III, it looked like all I had to do was make some minor tweaks to the digitised notes to reflect the changes I’d made as I wrote.
No, no, no.
Reality is a bitch, and she showed up Thursday morning with a piping hot cup of screw you. The problem came to light when I looked at what the latest outline showed for the opening of the book…
It sort of resembled what I have written, but not quiet. You may remember that ages back, I’d rewritten the story’s start; if not, you do now. The second version (now known as the dud) is nothing like the one I want, and the original has some of what I want, but not quite. It would take a lot of time to iron out the wrinkles.
I’ve learned that if I do the hard, time-consuming work at the start of the week, I’ll never get anything else done. So, I thought I’d approach things the way I did when I worked as an editor. Backwards.
There’s sound reasoning for this. When editors do sample edits, we ask for a middle chapter. This is because the writing in an unedited book gets better the closer to the end you get. So, a middle chapter is that sweet spot that lets you know how good or bad the writing is.
I knew that Act III was pretty close to what I had on my blocking sheets, so I decided to start from there and work back to the nightmare of Act I.
On Thursday, I worked through Act III, adding new notes from the three scenes I’d added that weren’t in the original outline. Friday was a similar task for Act II B, but I had to make a few changes to some of the scene notes.
Act II A was my goal on Saturday. It was my first significant cut and paste job to blend scenes together to streamline and cut some bloat.
Then came Act I.
On Sunday and Monday, I butchered my manuscript. Slicing, dicing, and splicing until 25,000 words landed in the bin (aka cut text file that never gets deleted because I’m a hoarder).
Yesterday I printed out my scene outlines/editing guide for the whole story and read it from start to finish. It was the first time since finalising the new and improved outline that I’d read it in a oner. I’m going to toot my own horn here and say that I love the story and the characters, even in note form. (I guarantee that I’ll be panicking and second-guessing that horn tooting in two weeks.)
That’s it for today. The next Author Journal is on the 25th of May. Thanks for stopping by, and take care.
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