Monday, June 15, 2015

Almost There

In true Excavating the Relic fashion, I will be a few days late finishing the fiddle. I've been working on it, but I think I'm fried from the push to finish the draft, because I can only read it for an hour at a time before I can't focus on it any more and I need a serious break. I did the first third of the book, and it took me so much longer than I thought it would to read it and make notes. But then the type-in took much less time, and I didn't have any trouble at all focusing on it. Weird.

My goal for today is to finish reading the second third of the book, and then, if I have time, start the type-in.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Update

1) Word-search edit Act 4, spell and grammar check, copy and paste it into the larger document.

2) Make some small changes I know I need to make-- mostly changing names, or adding a few lines here and there, or deleting one entire small story thread that I inserted thinking i'd need for the climax but then I didn't.

3) Print document and read it. --sent to printer

4) Fix any issues I see: consistency, timeline, chapters that end in the wrong place, plot holes, etc.

5) Read it again, out loud. Line edit as I go.

6) Final spellcheck.

Let the Fiddling Begin

I have nine days to fiddle with the draft before I send it to beta readers. Here's what I'd like to do in that time, listed in order of priority. I am 100% sure I won't get to it all.

1) Word-search edit Act 4, spell and grammar check, copy and paste it into the larger document.

2) Make some small changes I know I need to make-- mostly changing names, or adding a few lines here and there, or deleting one entire small story thread that I inserted thinking i'd need for the climax but then I didn't.

3) Print document and read it.

4) Fix any issues I see: consistency, timeline, chapters that end in the wrong place, plot holes, etc.

5) Read it again, out loud. Line edit as I go.

6) Final spellcheck.

I'm going to work on 1) today, but not until I've done some work for the day job. I've neglected it this week, and I have six documents that need to be prepared and sent out, and a bunch of other smaller tasks.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Ran Out of Friday

*sigh*

I ran out of Friday. It's 11:35 and I still have about 1-2 hours left to do... after working 6.5 hours today.  I'm so, so close-- just a few more paragraphs, really-- but they're tricky paragraphs (including the final one), and I'm out of juice.

Tomorrow, dog willing.

One Chapter Left

I edited for four hours today and got the penultimate chapter done. For something I had to pretty much construct from scratch, it was surprisingly painless. Someone once said that a story is like a funnel, starting at the wide end with all kinds of possibilities; by the time you reach the end, there are only so many choices you can make. This was the "tying up threads" chapter, and I could see what threads needed to be tied.

I've done about a third of the final chapter. I'm guessing it'll be about 2-3 hours of work. I've got an hour now before I have to bring The Son to a Cub Scout cookout, and then I'll do more after he goes to bed.

I'll post again when it's done... even if that turns out to be tomorrow.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Snag

Yesterday I finished another chapter, which left me with two to go.

Today, I sat down to work-- late, thanks to a migraine-- and realized that due to changes I've made throughout the book, very little of of what I had in this penultimate chapter is going to work.

I figured out what needs to happen, made an outline, and got about halfway through the writing, but now I've left myself with a chapter and a half to edit tomorrow. I may need to extend my deadline to Saturday. If so, it won't be the end of the world-- I'll just have nine days to fiddle rather than ten.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another Chapter Down

I feel like I'm racing toward the finish line now. This is partly because these last chapters are quite short compared to the earlier ones. It's also partly because these last chapters need less editing-- which I suspected would be the case, but it's like a miracle that easy edits are actually happening. And finally, it's partly because I have summit fever and working 3-4 hours a day on it feels like not that much.

I just finished The Art of Slow Writing --which I have LOTS to say about; just not this week-- and she quotes Zadie Smith as saying the best reason to write a book is the way you feel for the four and a half hours after you write the last word. I feel like I'm tasting a little of what that feeling is right now.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Chapter a Day

Yeah, so, somehow I didn't make the connection that I have five chapters left to edit in five days.

New plan: chapter a day.

I edited for three hours and twenty minutes today, and finished chapter twenty-six. This is definitely feeling doable.

The Plan for June

This is like plan inception. Plans within plans.

The overarching plan for the month is to write for 50 hours. That's been working out beautifully so far.

My more goal-oriented plan for the first half of June is to have a MS of TOB ready to send to beta readers by 11:59pm on June 15. I told the readers I got through the Beta Project that I'd be ready by "mid June", and I'm sticking to that, dammit. Plus, my fourth (gulp) bookiversary is coming up at the end of the month, and I will cry if I haven't moved on to the beta stage by then.

I want to have ten days to read and fiddle before I send it out. Actually, I'd love to have ten months, but at some point I have to say enough is enough and accept that it's not going to be a perfect, shining jewel before I let someone read it.

That leaves me five days to finish the edit. I have just over 9,000 words to go, which works out to 1,800 a day. That's a lot for me, but I think it's doable. Maybe. We'll see.