Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Chicken



This past couple weeks I've been a big chicken. I've puttered around, read books, watched tv, played video games, and all sorts of things that weren't editing my NaNo novel.

I wanted to let it lie fallow for a month, but that month stretched into six weeks because I was reluctant to dive into the major revisions I knew that ms needed.

But Saturday, I decided enough was enough. I would go to the library away from distractions like email, blogging, email, chatting on the IM, email, tv, email, video games, email, books, email...you get the picture. I would spend half a day reading and taking notes on what should be changed in the novel.

The library opened at 9:30 am. By 9:45 I was at a table in the stacks, opening the document and ready to get down to work. With trepidation I began reading. When next I looked up, it was 11 am. I was many pages in, and the editing was going well. My major task in this first edit was to cull 6K words from the document to bring it in under the word count. This sounds worse than it was because when writing it in the NaNo frenzy, I wrote two chapters that didn't feel right, that I ended up rewriting during that crazy month. But I kept the old chapters in there because no words are wasted words during NaNo. I knew I could go in and remove those chapters and thousands of words would fall to my editor's pen.

When next I looked up, it was almost 4 pm! I had spent all day editing and was within 25 pages of the end of the book. WOW! I was so tired and didn't realize it until that moment. I decided to leave the last 25 pages (loaded with action and with some things I knew would need serious revision based on things I'd changed in earlier chapters) until Monday when I would be fresher.

Lesson learned here? Nothing is so tyrannical as fear. It blows things out of proportion and keeps you from doing what you know you need to do. This story wasn't nearly as mangled as I made it out in my head. I had plotted it out beforehand and stayed true to that plot (except the two chapters I had to rewrite...that should teach me the value of my plot board, huh?) and the story holds together well. I will polish it up further this week and hopefully send it out for crit by Friday.

Then it is on to a proposal for a series that's been tickling my brain for awhile.

Do you have anything that has held you hostage lately that you just need to dig into?

3 comments:

  1. Good for you!! Nothing feels as good as progress =)

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  2. I think creative types know intuitively or subconsciously when the moment is right to work on a project. You could have done your edits a few weeks ago, but would you have been as productive? Maybe you needed the extra time to recharge. I'll be ready to get back to work once everyone is back in school tomorrow. I can feel that urge to create. Something I can't do with a lot of interruptions and people underfoot.

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  3. Really enjoyed this post, and the answer is yes, I'm being held hostage. :)

    I love this:

    Nothing is so tyrannical as fear. It blows things out of proportion and keeps you from doing what you know you need to do. ~E.V.

    Keep an eye out because when I use quotes on FEAR -- you're going to be there. :)

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