Second and last week of vacation before returning to my WFH desk life. I took the time to indulge in good food, sweet treats, and time with my partner. There were walks, solo Just Dance marathons, a return to my Animal Crossing island, and a few socially distant explorations.
I started using my new bullet journal and felt a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished draft 3 of my current manuscript. Next step: recruit betas and review the notes I scattered throughout the draft for future fixes (the future is now!).
It was a struggle to revise draft 2; it coincided with the start of my WFH life and the terrible anxiety and depression that marked those early months. Still, I pushed through and finished draft 3 a month ahead of schedule.
In total, I spent 214.62 hours editing and revising (including a major development edit and a thorough revision), spread across 10 months beginning in March. Draft 1 was completed January 2020. In February, I reviewed the draft and prepared my notes for revision. Now, I’m enjoying that brief sense of relief before I dive back into the manuscript. My goal is to query BYCMB this year and plot a rewrite of Anuna (COI), which I stopped querying at the end of 2019 (but that’s a longer story and may become a self-publishing adventure).
I hope you too had an indulgent and satisfying end to what may be the worst year in many of our lifetimes. 2016 was one of my worst years for many reasons, but 2020 is a close second.
The draft is “done”. The words are down and the review copy printed. Next steps include: writing my synopsis, drafting a query, and reviewing the first 50 pages. As usual, I am left with writerly ambivalence (It was the best of drafts; it was the worst of drafts.) but there are only so many times you can rewrite before you’re just avoiding the next step. So, wish me luck.
The numbers, as they stand:
Words (re)written in August: 27,431
Words in 2018 to date: 135,148
Words before revision : 80,160
Words after revision: 77,930
Making this the second shortest version of “Anúna” since my 100+k first draft (the shortest draft was just over 70k). I’m brutal when it comes to trimming excess.
There are two other manuscripts I’d like to revise, but I’m probably going to focus on a fast draft of last year’s failed NaNo project. It’s a story that I may not be ready to write, but I’d like to give it another try and see where it goes. If I do decide to join NaNo, I will do so completely safe in the knowledge that I will fail to reach 50k in a month. I’m just not there right now, but it is a nice motivator.
So all plans re: blogging/vlogging/social media were tossed out the window in July. But that’s ok—the writing is strong and the words are coming. Unexpected circumstances aside, this draft will be done by the end of the month…
I have news! The draft is complete! Except, it’s not… not really, but you know what I mean. This draft, as it stands, is completely revised and mostly rewritten. I finished it on Saturday and had a nice lunch to celebrate, before writing up a quick plan for next steps.
The first step: proofreading and a deep review of the first 50 pages (plus, take care of all those notes I added in the margins).
Next: query and synopsis research, as it’s been a while since I’ve done this and need a refresh.
Agent research, list-making, and more to follow. But, for now, it’s in a happy place and I can relax when I go to my yearly library conference next week.
Words (re)written in May:9,998
Words that survived from the last draft: probably 163
I wrapped up the month just shy of my goal, completing 5 chapters (including the prologue. I started the month strong, with some serious, day-long editing sessions, but the end of the month brought a couple of health issues (knocked out by migraines and cramps) and some personal life drama that made it difficult to do more than the basics. That said, it was my best month yet (wordcountwise) and I’m ready to take on the last three chapters.
Words (re)written in April: 15,530
Words (re)written in 2018 (to date): 47,222
My goal is to finish this draft by May 19th (ideally, the 13th), giving me two/three weeks before I proofread, and time to focus on the switch from drafting to query prep. Deep breath. I’m going to get over my anxiety and do it.
If you’re new to the blog, Hi! If you’re not, you’ll know I’m in the middle of revising Draft 6 of my main writing project. My goal is to finish this draft by April, but my slightly more realistic goal is May…
In February, I revised Chapters 20-23, or 9,981 words. As usual, life has a way of getting in the way, but it didn’t stop me from meeting my goal 🙂 🙂 🙂
What I’ve learned so far:
This draft has shown me that I get as much work done if I schedule two solid, 4-5 hour weekend writing sessions, as when I squeeze in 30 minute to 1 hour sessions after during the weekdays. These shorter sessions also have a way of breaking up my thoughts and making me lose focus, resulting in the mess I made of the last two drafts (sigh). Adjusting my schedule has allowed me to focus on those weekend sessions, and use the weekdays to review chapters and consider revisions. This also grants me more head-space and allows me to enjoy my evenings after work, rather than strain my eyes for another hour. v. good.
I can now say that I’ve finished draft 5. New prologue and all. I learn something new from each draft, but one element that really became obvious is how sparse I am when it comes to description. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, it’s just a fact. I tell myself to add more, but end up taking out. My very first rough draft was around 98k words (give or take, I have the numbers saved somewhere). The first draft rewrite clocked in around 90k. The next one was around 79k, followed by around 90k again. Current draft is complete at 83k.
Of course, now I need to do a continuity read, because I edited out of order and things might be screwy in places. But that will wait. For now, I will celebrate and get over the cold that finally got around to me. (I thwarted it for a good two months)
March is underway and my writing is coming along at a really good pace. If I keep at it, the draft will be done by the end of the week (next week, if I rewrite the prologue now rather than later). I’m riding this wave to the end!
I’ve also made good progress on my Camp NaNo plan. I’ve been toying with this idea for a while, but I didn’t realize how long until I unearthed a brain-dump file dated July 2011(!). That’s well before I started working on my current project (which dates to 2012). The idea has definitely evolved since that early document, but the spark remains. I’m definitely eager to delve into this new world.
So my Whole30 was an epic failure, but that’s ok. I realized half-way that it just wasn’t the right time. I wasn’t in the right mindset, and mindset is a HUGE part of that program. I will try again, but not right now. I’m just going to focus on eliminating the foods that make me feel sluggish, sick, or throw off my digestion. Focusing on health and feeling good, rather than restriction or program rules.
Yoga happened. Not every day, but it happened. Walking, not so much. There were migraines. Lots of them, and stretching and relaxing was my main priority.
On the upside, I finished my edits for the month! With time to spare! Yay!
Edit wordcount: 13531.
I call that a good run, so I decided to film an update video to pat myself on the back. Check it out 🙂
Goals for March:
Finish the draft! Do it!
Prepare for April NaNo experiment
Try to complete 30 Days of Yoga Camp, because I really enjoyed that series and feel ready for a repeat.