Last week I shared that I set up a timetable to help me focus on my edits. I also mentioned that I’d probably not stick to it. My prediction was correct, but not to the extent I’d internally feared. Yay!
The timetable I set up is a fantasy. The fact I actually stuck to it 70-ish% of the time is shocking to me. The times I did stick to it, I saw a considerable increase in my focus on the job–and a boost in my overall productivity. 🤓
Review 2nd – 8th June 2022
Here’s what last week’s goal looked like:
Here’s How It Went
Act IIB consists of eighteen scenes (one is actually a lengthy sequence), which is pretty intimidating when it’s staring you in the face. So, I broke the task down to evenly distribute the scenes (by word count, not scene count) over the five-day workweek. [Fellow planner geeks, you’ll know this is “chunking”.]
Thursday was scenes (sc) 1 – 4, and on Friday, scenes 5 – 8. No problem. Saturday, it was scenes 9 and 10. Sounds like a nice light word day… except it wasn’t. Scene 10 is actually a lengthy genre-fulfilling sequence (seq). A monster scene, if you will.
I started in on sc 9, but 800 words in, I hit a block. There’s a revelation in the scene, one that must come out in Act IIA/B at some point. I played around with this key detail for a whole section of my schedule. I was running out of time, and I still hadn’t touched the monster seq.
Putting the revelation on the backburner, I ploughed ahead with tackling the monster, promising that I’d hit it first thing on Sunday morning. That monster seq. turned out to be a playful Rottweiler🥲 .
My biggest work day, Sunday, had a heavier load–sc 9 & 11 – 16. The moment I sat down to deal with the incomplete sc 9, I realised I still had no idea what to do about the revelation. I decided to ignore it for a bit and get on with the next batch of scenes.
And then, because I actually stuck to 90% of the schedule, I blasted the last two scenes. The ones planned for Monday. But, eventually, those were done, too. Now, nothing was preventing me from dealing with scene 9.
As I sat there contemplating deleting the whole need for the revelation, the one with the stakes attached to it, I realised I’d fucked up. I’d mistaken the revelation as a structural issue when it’s an emotional one (Elle’s relationship arc with her sister, Dani), which I’ll deal with in a later pass.
With that all dealt with, I finished the scene and then had a good look at the other sub-goal. Cut 10-15K words from Act IIB. To be honest, until this morning, I thought I’d only managed to cut 5K. But then I realised that the first three scenes in Act IIB actually belong to Act IIA. Bang! Another 6K gone 🎉
A side bonus to moving the scenes is that my story is perfectly balanced! Act I: 15 sc; Act IIA: 16 sc; Act IIB: 16 sc; and Act III: 15 sc 😀
This Week’s Goal
- SWYM edit (structure) First half of Act IIA (scenes 1 – 8)
At the start of the year, I overhauled the entire outline for Running the Asset. As I’d written the first half of the manuscript beforehand, I’ll need longer to deal with all the changes, deletions, and additions. Fingers crossed that an extra week is more than enough to get the job done.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by, and take care.