Writing Progress: Week Ending July 28, 2012
On the upside… at least I didn’t write nothing:
Book of M:
- Background Notes Wordcount: 0 words
- First Draft Wordcount: 271 words
Grand Total: 271 words
There’s a lot of work left to do on the Home Project Phase III, to be sure. But last week Dear Wife and I were feeling stretched pretty thin, I think. So I did end up spending some time writing – writing may be work, but these days it’s my primary leisure activity. That exhaustion continued, but potential writing time was eaten up by working on Home Project stuff through the exhaustion, or collapsing in front of the Olympics, and such.
With the little time I did spend writing, I probably could have written more, if I had been writing new material. Instead, the weeks of non-writing allowed Editor-Head to kick into gear, and I started thinking about some of the plot holes and problems I’d left in the current draft. So I was patching holes (and incrementing some of what I’ve written up from First Draft to Second Draft). That involves more re-reading, finding the best spots to patch holes, adding new material to form the patch and sometimes deleting material that’s incompatible with the patch.
I know I shouldn’t be editing at this stage. But I feel better about continuing knowing that I’ve fixed some obvious problems with the first draft.
Incidental to this, I’ve been thinking about drafting in a more general sense. I don’t have a ton of history of completed material to consider in how my drafting process works, or if I have a process in the first place. But I’m imagining this novel going this way:
- Start with the first draft – getting the raw words of the story on the page.
- Next comes the author-driven plot-hole clean-up.
- The third draft would ostensibly come after an Alpha read, and involve consideration of Alpha reader comments focused especially on the further clean-up of plot holes, story flow, pacing, characterization and other grand-scale details.
- The fourth draft, in my mind, would be focused on my use of language; which I believe is in need of some serious polish. This is where I intend to focus on my authorial style, waxing hopefully more poetic and lyrical where possible and where desireable.
After that, who knows? If I were a lucky writer, I’d have a group of willing Beta readers ready to take a crack at it, who can comment further on my language, story, pacing, etc. to help me gauge how successful my fixes in drafts 3 and 4 were. But I’m not anticipating that being the case. As a relatively poor contributor of critiques for my fellow writers (whether of the Alpha or Beta variety), I don’t really feel as though it’s fair for me to keep going back to the well for this. Not if I’m not able to give as good as I can get. And right now… I don’t think that I can. (In fact, in terms of pure fairness, I don’t think I can honestly ask for Alpha readers, so the proposed Third Draft above is a bit of a reach.) On the plus side? It’s certainly a feasible idea, however remote, that by the time I’m actually done with my first and second drafts that I’ll be in a better position to supply critiques as well as consume them.
But that’s where my thoughts are as I tinker around second-drafting some parts of “Book of M”.
So how was your week in writing?