Novel in Progress: Week 13

Done with my second 30-Day Writing Marathon, and thus, with my second draft! Woo-hoo!

It’s 87,000 words long, the number I’m quite satisfied with—at this point.

In his article “Three’s a charm” (The Writer, July 2013), Stuart Horwitz states that in your second draft you “locate the best parts of what you’ve done in the first draft, then take each of those up a level while seeking their connections with each other. An essential step in that direction is to reduce your writing to essential components.”

That’s exactly what I did. I specifically checked the relevance of every scene in the manuscript and, as a result, deleted the parts that didn’t add any value to the narrative. This is not to say that the changes I’ve made are permanent. I still have much work to do in this direction.

Horwitz adds, “Ineveitably, scenes that you have yet to write will also emerge.”

Absolutely. I added quite a few scenes that “came out of nowhere” but proved to be essential to my book.

Three’s a charm, huh? I don’t think so. Not for me, anyway. I had written 20-plus drafts for my novels Without Thinking Twice and A Measure of Guilt before I submitted them for publication. Why so many? Well, the more I worked on each book, the more flaws I spotted, the more fresh ideas came to me, the more changes I wanted to make, and so on and so forth. So I’m pretty sure that I’m facing the same process with this novel. Argh! and Oh, my God! and Damn it! 🙂

Initially, when I just started blogging about this novel, I was so curious about how many weeks it would take me to write it from start to finish that I thought I would report about my progress every Sunday. Which I have done, up to this point.

Now, however, I’ve changed my mind. Yes, I’m still curious—of course! But I now find it…uh…burdensome (for lack of a better word) to blog about the book that is still so raw and fragile on a weekly basis. Besides, it’s hard to talk about it without revealing certain facts and thus spoiling it for potential readers.

Hence, my decision: I will blog about my progress when I feel like it. After all, my mood changes so very often. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Novel in Progress: Week 13

  1. Thought you would enjoy reading about other novelists’ writing marathons. These are by Celia Johnson and found in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Spirit magazine:

    “This author wrote mostly at night. After growing tired, the dedicated writer routinely plunged both feet into a bucket of cold water to stay awake. The author also kept a stash of rotten apples in a desk drawer, apparently unable to work without the foul aroma wafting through the study. “(Friederick Schiller, wrote William Tell and the poem, Ode to Joy)”

    “under contract to produce a novel, this writer was threatended by the publisher with hefty late fines. the author locked up all clothing so that leaving the house was not an option. Wrapped in a large, gray shawl, the novelist completed the final pages just in time” (Victor Hugo, author of one of my favorite books, Les Miserables)

    “A beloved pet named Catterina climbed onto this author’s shoulders during long stretches of writing. The affectionate feline wold sit there ‘purring as if in complacent approval of the work proceeding under its supervision, ‘(Bet you can guess this writer)

    • Hi Beth, thanks for such interesting info about other struggling/striving authors. I definitely need encouragement right now–not doing too good with my novel (stuck!)
      And thanks for the advice, too. I’ll certainly look for Celia Johnson’s blog.
      Good to hear from you! 🙂

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