Pause

Today I finished the read-through and note taking of “Haunt,” just in time for the final 2017 check-in for ROW80.

I’m planning to not do much of anything before the next round. Mostly some reading and playing with character sheets. It’s the end of the year, and I like to spend this time dreaming and writing and making lists, and I plan to do just that.

I am reining myself in and not doing plans or outlining or anything for the next 11 days. I can already tell this is going to be hard. I am really worried about losing my momentum, because that happens to me a lot. But I have a specific plan of what steps are coming next, and I know when I’m going to start them, so this time really is different. I will remind myself of that often and fill my time with other pursuits, and I am going to pick this story back up and do the next steps without months in between!

Meanwhile, while I let the story stew, I’m going to plan my 2018 year-long embroidery project. More about that later, though. More about all the plans after some time to pause.

Looking Ahead

I love this time of year. I love the planning bug that hits me every time the calendar is about to change. I love the possibilities of a brand new calendar. This time, though, my writing work is coinciding with the change of years, and it feels good. New year, new part of the work to do. I’m not just continuing writing an in-progress story. I’m starting a whole new part of the writing process.

Meanwhile, I’m still working on the “Haunt” read-through, which feels like a wrap-up of the first draft more than an actual part of the revision process for some reason. I’m about 3/4 of the way finished with it. It’s kind of fitting that I’m hitting the end of this part of my plans just in time for the end of this round of ROW80. I just hope I’m going to be ready for something new when the next round starts.

To help with that, here are more plans for the ROW80 break:

  • Study revision techniques
  • Character building (my three characters are too similar)
  • Make a list in one place of next steps
  • Pick a date for starting revisions
  • Possibly do a loose narrative-style outline of the story as it stands to help find the holes and weak spots

Okay, now I feel a little more ready to tackle whatever’s coming next in this writing life.

 

Filling Things In

I’m still working on reading through my story and making notes on where more info is needed. I’m trying to get through it quickly so it doesn’t fade too much. I’m hoping doing it fast will help me remember which sections I thought were going to need more info or added scenes while I was writing.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been thinking about how to proceed after this read-through. I plan to have that done by the end of December 31, and then the story is going to need some time to rest before I start revisions. I’m planning to let it rest through January.

While it’s resting (okay, I’ve already started this), I’m going to read up on good ways of revising a novel. Since this is the first time I’ve actually gotten to the end of a long work, this is going to be my first try at revising one. I’m thinking the first pass will be to go through and add in the scenes and info from the notes I’m making right now. That should give me a more complete first draft to work with. After that part, though, I’m not sure how to proceed. So, research time!

I’m also trying to figure out how to do revisions and write at the same time. Are you really supposed to stop writing while you’re revising something? That doesn’t feel right to me.

I’d love to hear about any methods (books, workshops, anything) that other writers use for their revisions. And I’d really love to hear how you balance writing and revising.

I hope everyone’s having a great writing week!

 

 

NaNo Wrap-up

I’ve started this post numerous times in my head. I have so much to say! It’s all still tumbling around excitedly inside my brain. This might call for a list!

  1. I won NaNoWriMo with 52,513 (52,527 in Google Docs) words.
  2. I finished the story! This one is huge. Immensely, amazingly huge! I have never done this before. Not just during NaNo, either. I have only ever finished short stories before. Every long work I’ve started up until now remains unfinished. But not this one. This one has an ending!
  3. I’m feeling niggling worries about whether or not I know how to do the next steps to add scenes, clean things up, do revisions. It’s all going to be my first try for my own work. I’ve helped other people do theirs, but I’ve never done this on my own. It feels completely different and like brand new territory. I have to remember that finishing a novel felt that way, and I did it by just figuring out and doing the next thing without knowing what I would do after that. I have to let go of wanting to know how every part of it will look before I get there (oh so hard for me!).
  4. I have a plan for what I’m doing next. During December I’m going to be reading through about 4 pages a day and making notes about things that need to have more info or different info, marking places where I need another scene, marking places where a scene needs to be removed or replaced. My plan is to be ready to do the writing and clean-up starting in January. I’m trying not to try to figure out how long that might take right now (oh my control issues!).