Train Wreck

29 Sep

It’s a sunny, seventy-degree day here in Texas, and all is well in the writing world.  Or, I should say, the re-reading-of-my-writing world.

Pushing pause on my re-write has proved, so far, to be a good decision.  For those of you just tuning in, I’m doing a quick read-through of the 40,000ish words I’ve done so far on the second draft, in hopes of averting a writing train wreck before it happens.  Now, I know some train wrecks can spawn all sorts of spontaneous, sometimes-better-than-planned ideas.  Other train wrecks, though, leave you with a big pile of burning metal, with fire and smoke that obscures your vision.  In those wrecks, the whole mess overwhelms the poor soul who ventures forth to clean it.

Fortunately, the train is still on the tracks, so there’s no cause to worry just yet.

In fact, I’m finding it’s better than I thought.  In this read, I’m checking to see if it’s paced evenly, if I have any unnecessary scenes, and if my characters are following the path I laid for them or leading me somewhere better.  It’s particularly relieving to realize that the pacing is not, as I feared, jerky and confusing.  Some scenes take longer to write than others, which for me, can lead to misperceptions of how long the scene actually takes to read.  To my surprise and relief, so far, it’s even.  As far as characters and unnecessary scenes go, there is less to change than expected.  I’m more on the encouraged side of things than the discouraged, though I still have forty pages to read.

Hopefully, by the end of this week, or the beginning of next week, I’ll press on with the actual writing of the last half of the draft.  Like I said before, this is just a quick read, with a few specific purposes. I could spend weeks and weeks (and I imagine I will spend weeks and weeks, at a later point in time) correcting the way I keep describing one character’s eyes as sparkling, or how I used the word die, like, ten times on a page without realizing it.  (Oops.)  Now is not the time for those types of things, though, not if I ever want to finish this draft!  This is merely a keep-the-train-on-the-tracks read, not a polish-the-wheels-and-get-the-conductor-a-snazzy-uniform read.

Since the sunny skies and seventy-degree air have been rare these days, I’m headed outside with a homemade latte to make a dent in those remaining pages.


5 Responses to “Train Wreck”

  1. Merrilee Wednesday / 30 September 09 at 7:50 am #

    I love it when you notice things like that in your MS 🙂

    Good luck with the second half!

  2. Linda Thursday / 1 October 09 at 10:16 am #

    Congratulations on finding your book is still on track. That should give you an added boost toward finishing.

  3. jenniferneri Thursday / 1 October 09 at 12:17 pm #

    When I read my novel (the one I thought was finished, but turns out wasn’t) I read 410 pages in 1 hour and 50 minutes. I know what you mean about how long it takes to write and how quick to read!

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 7 October 09 at 3:13 pm #

      Wow, that’s super fast! It’s incredible, really, to think how much work goes into things. Writing has really made me appreciate everyone else’s work, whether in music, television, movies, or books (or whatever else takes time and thought, for that matter).

      Hope you’re doing well! 🙂


  1. The Dreaded Middle of the Story… « Owl and Sparrow - Saturday / 3 October 09

    […] I told you all the other day I was encouraged by what I’d read up to that point, and it’s still true.  However, my suspicions were right on the nose – the last 5,000 words or so are an unrefined mess.  Buried in the mess, thank goodness, is great potential.   […]

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