So, uh, wow.
I have it on good authority that October has arrived. How is this possible? This year has flown by. FLOWN, I tell you.
Last year at this time, I was in the early phases of rewriting my first draft. Now, I’m about to start actively crafting a fourth draft. (As opposed to the past few weeks, where I’ve taken no concrete action on it, but have been mulling over crits received and changes to be made.)
- Somewhere along the way, I developed two systems that worked well for my writing habits. One was for adding meat to a WIP and re-writing it from a blank page, the other was for tightening a WIP based on the basic structure already in place. (Here and here. Both links are for the tightening phase, not the total re-write.)
- I entered the beta-reading world, both as reader and as writer.
- Over the summer, I participated in Merrilee Faber’s creativity workshop, which sharpened my coming-up-with-ideas skills, produced several ideas for new novels, and even resulted in two YouTube videos where I covered songs by Patty Griffin and Lennon/McCartney. (Here and here.)
- I read a tall stack of novels.
- I figured out how to use Twitter to my advantage (as opposed to letting it rule my day and destroy my writing time).
- At the end of the summer, I finished the third draft.
- In the interim between finishing and starting the fourth draft, I started writing a pressure-free first draft for a totally different novel.
That brings us to now. Sorry to get all I did this, I did that on you. It can be easy to forget just how far we’ve come, especially when we’re focused on how far we still have to go.
Where have you been, and where are you going? Specifically, where are you going this October?
Personally, I’m headed into somewhat uncharted territory: the wow-my-betas-have-given-me-some-awesome-feedback-now-how-on-earth-do-I-deal-with-it? territory. This territory, I hear, is sharpening. And by sharpening, I’m thinking it’s like an arrow: you have to whittle away at it so it has a sharp point, and will therefore pierce the target with precision. Unfortunately, the whittling may be painful. That said, precision seems to be worth a bit of temporary pain.