Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Milestone Reached

Late last night, I finished my first draft of the rewrite of chapter six, …Personal Lives Are Upset….  It is not ready for posting on my Gods Among Men website, but it is just about ready for submission to the Magic City Writers

Side Note:

I have been remiss and not posted about the last meeting of the Magic City Writers’ Group.  I apologize, but the desire to work on chapter six has been soaking up my writing urges.

What I Have Been Up to Lately

I had to do major rewrites on the last three chapters, in which I introduce many important characters, bring them together, and reveal major plot threads.  Much of the essential content is the same as before I rewrote them.  Some side items were removed, and important elements were introduced.

Many pages of material have been moved off to long term storage in what I call my story’s  bible.  A separate document where I put meta-knowledge about Gods Among Men (history, descriptions, language notes, outlines for plot threads, and so forth).  I also put deleted scenes there, chunks of  text I don’t currently need, but which could be mined for ideas or phrases I like.

The End Results

While it took a fair amount of work, the rewrites served their purpose.  The overall flow is tighter, more focused, with better characters and escalating tensions.   I can see the improvements, and know that these chapters are now much better. 

Moreover, they are sturdy foundations for much that is to follow.  The overall story has improved and become clearer in my mind.

The Middle of the Road

There are thirteen chapters in each of my books.  Finishing chapter six means, ostensibly, that I am just shy of halfway through this major edit of the whole first book.  

In some ways, however, I’ve already done more than half the required work.

The Shape of Things to Come

Chapter seven, …And Critical Moment Relived…, is a self-contained flashback whose details are not affected by the new elements I introduced during the rewrites.  Right now it is long enough to qualify as a novella.   My goal is to turn it into a modest-size short story. 

This will largely be done by deleting long pages of total crap and tweaking what is not.  Less than a rewrite, more like a normal edit.   I have high hopes this will go quickly.

Most of the later chapters follow this pattern.   They need a brutal edit, but not complete rewrites.  There are fewer structural problems,  more sentences that need eliminating or improvements. 

I can focus more on fixing what is already there rather than creating new material from scratch.  And I am getting faster at the editing process.

My Goals For The Coming Months

If I can maintain my current pace, and the quality level of my recent efforts, I think the first book, At The Lady’s Behest Comes…, will be ready to submit to publishers by early next year.    I may be somewhat delayed in November by NaNoWriMo, at which time I plan on trying to write much of the first draft for book two.

The View From Where I Am Right Now

There is still much to do, but much has also been accomplished.   A milestone has been reached, by which I can see how far I’ve traveled, and how much further I have to go.    Not enough has been done to warrant celebration, but a moment has been reached that is worth noting.