Intricacies

28 Apr

It’s been a while since my last Project: Edit update.¹  I’m almost hesitant to write one, given my tendency to jinx myself whenever I’ve had a string of productive days, but whatever.  Update you I shall.

Things have been productive.

It took a while to get started on the actual editing of my second draft, but the ball is rolling on that.  I’m taking it scene by scene, doing my best to be all there when I write.  Somewhere, a long time ago, I wrote that the first and second drafts felt super rewarding, but for different reasons.  Already, the same holds true for my third draft.

For the first draft, I didn’t know where I was going, didn’t know what kind of characters I’d meet along the way.  What resulted was surprisingly coherent, but far from polished.  I added subplots, strengthened characters, bada-bing bada-boom,² the second draft was born.  With both of those drafts, I wrote to get the story down, not to make it pretty.

This time feels different.  It feels slow, calculated, intricate.  Not overworked — just worked.  It’s fun to focus on each scene, fun to make each one special, fun to know the whole story and strengthen its parts.  As satisfying as it was to know I could produce quantity, it’s a hundred times more satisfying to see the quantity morph into (what I hope is) quality.

It’s late, and it’s been a full day.  Time for a little Curb Your Enthusiasm (our most recent DVD fix) after a midnight conversation with my sweet husband and my little editing assistant.³

Project: Edit Update | The note card system is alive and thriving.  I’m still working my way through section one (of nine), but progress is progress.  Diligence is key, and that’s been going well.

¹If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click on “Challenges” at the top of the sidebar.

²And by bada-bing bada-boom, I mean, of course, that it happened overnight.  And by overnight, I actually mean that it took a while.  A long while.

³Also known as Mr. Remy Fang Richard Alpert the Cat, pictured above, hard at work.  He sits in my lap whenever I write, which is adorable until he decides my wrists are made for biting.  Always nice.

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10 Responses to “Intricacies”

  1. Chibi Thursday / 29 April 10 at 12:07 am #

    I can see what you mean about the third draft, though I’m kind of hoping I won’t have to rewrite my current project a third time. I think in my second draft, I’m doing a combination of putting the story down and improving upon what was already there. For me, part of the fun is comparing what I wrote two years ago to what I’m writing now and seeing the vast difference in it.

    I hope you continue to be productive with your project.

    • owlandsparrow Thursday / 29 April 10 at 3:35 pm #

      Yeah, my second draft was such a total rewrite that the third still needs some work. Not crazy, huge, significant amounts of new stuff – it’s just that I’ve never tried to tighten it up before now. Basically, I keep a print-out of whatever scene I’m working on, pick out the main things that need to happen, and then start with a blank screen. As I go, I put in some new stuff as needed, but keep the old stuff that fits and works well.

      So great that you’re in the editing phase, too. It’s tedious, but rewarding! :)

  2. Linda Cassidy Lewis Thursday / 29 April 10 at 12:07 am #

    Hurray, hurray! I worried that spending so much time helping me would hinder progress on your own manuscript.

    Btw: You are the only one I know who uses footnotes for blog posts (except I might have copied you once) and I love them.

    • owlandsparrow Thursday / 29 April 10 at 3:39 pm #

      Oh, Linda, don’t worry! If anything, it’s helped my progress, because a) I’m looking at my own work with more objective eyes than usual, and b) I’ve had the privilege of reading work that’s far more polished than mine is at the moment. The second thing helps with the first – I can more easily see what I need to tighten, what’s not working. Though my time has been split between your manuscript and mine, the time I’m spending has been twice as productive. :)

      Thanks for loving my footnotes, haha! I like writing them (obviously) so I just include them. I know Melissa uses them sometimes, too – feel free to steal them! I got the idea from Jen Lancaster’s books. She has footnotes all over the place, and I eat them up.

  3. Merrilee Thursday / 29 April 10 at 6:27 am #

    Lovely. Revising has a special satisfaction all its own. :D

    • owlandsparrow Thursday / 29 April 10 at 3:40 pm #

      It does, indeed. Good thing, too, since I still have a ways to go! ;)

  4. cynthia Thursday / 29 April 10 at 7:26 am #

    I’m a nut for process at the moment so I loved reading about yours. So happy to hear the note card system is still working for you : )

    • owlandsparrow Thursday / 29 April 10 at 3:42 pm #

      Thanks, Cynthia! Have you read any good posts about process lately that you’d recommend (and remember where to find)? I like reading about that stuff, too. :)

  5. Laura Thursday / 29 April 10 at 5:01 pm #

    Wonderful things can happen to a story while we’re working on revisions. It really helps round a story off and squeezes the very best out of us. Have fun :)

  6. Megs - Scattered Bits Thursday / 29 April 10 at 8:44 pm #

    Keep up the wonderful work! I know how it is when things are productive, not stopping out always to let people know, but I’m glad they’re going well for you. :) And I totally love the cat.

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