A continuing saga of one writer's quest to reach an audience.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Working the novel
I have two chapters left in my second draft. Nice to know I'm near the end. Again. Then a final polish and it might be ready for some critiques. This is day 123 since I began, roughly 4 months and some. Getting there slowly.
After setting aside the manuscript for a couple of weeks to let it "rest," I read it from start to finish. The
unedited draft was easy to read in one day, and this gave me a good
idea of areas that are out of position or those that need further
explanation. For example, the first chapter has too much description of the setting. This delays action or
dialogue as it deals only with the main character and her perceptions of
where she is and how she got there. I can understand why I wrote that in the first chapter – I needed to know for myself how she sees her situation. Now
I know there are better places and better ways to show these. And I can
get to some character interaction faster, before I lose the
reader to boredom. Now that I've noted what needs to be done, I'll wait another few days before I tackle edits with a better sense of what is needed. Quote: I try to tell a story the way someone would tell you a story in a bar, with the same kind of timing and pacing. --Chuck Palahniuk [Fight Club]
80 days since I began, and I have now reached forty-five thousand words of the first draft of my new novel. One chapter to go, and this draft is finished. And so I will begin fussing all over again on my second draft.
My end goal is 55,000 to 60,000 words. I already integrated the bones of a subplot into a few chapters, and will enlarge and embellish it as I go.
This next draft may or may not be the final draft, depending on how polished I can make it.
Experience tells me there will be many final drafts. [How many times have I worked on the "final draft" of my saga?
Thank goodness my new novel isn't a saga of a 120,000 or more words.
But as I work my way through my writing bucket list I will return to that saga and give it the final push that it needs.
I've been doing some reading and have learned a couple of things:
– I should not read similar novels on an ereader and a tablet simultaneously. Until I reached the point where each story became unique, I was disoriented each time I began reading, trying to remember who-what-where.
Sadly, I remember neither of them, although both were well written. Generic stories, characters who blended into the scenery.
– I must remember when I buy ebooks to check first if they are reprints from an author's early body of work. I began reading a title by a well-known writer and was immediately disappointed to discover the story might have been the first or second one she had published.
Eighty-five pages in and the hero is still sparring with the heroine as to when he will bed her.
Right now I'm thinking this book, at 400 some pages, is way too long. I wish the author had edited the opus before republishing. As it is, I won't finish.
And that's a shame, because I really enjoy the author's books.