Posted by: Jodi | August 30, 2010

Getting Back to Business

Back in January I started my quest to write the book that had floated around in my head since college.  About ten weeks later I held in my hands a very rough draft.  At that point I was pretty proud of myself.  The rest of the process of completing the book with all the editing and revising would be a difficult but wonderful time of seeing the story take shape and come alive.  Or so I thought. Judging by how long it took to create the rough draft I guessed that I would need about 6-8 weeks.  After the first two weeks of attempting to edit the time estimate grew to 8 -12 weeks.

Now we are sitting at a solid 5 months later.

It is impossible to tell a new writer with stars in their eyes and potential in their fingers just how hard it is to take a shaky rough draft into a solid first draft.  They won’t believe it, they believe that they are the enthused exception to the rule.  They believe that they will never get hung up on scenes that don’t work or awkward dialogue.  They don’t believe until they get there and find that the writing process is no longer blue skies and lollipops.  It is tough and at times it really sucks, but it is not impossible.

I’m blaming three of those five months of delay on summer vacation.  Having both kids home with nothing to do is very distracting.   Monkey #1 returns to school today and it’s a great time to get back to regular goals and start making progress again on the manuscript.

For the last two weeks I’ve spent my manuscript writing time combing through the outline, correcting and adjusting it so the story line is finally how I want it.  There will be no more major changes after this point.  Hallelujah!

For the next time being, I’m returning to cranking out 1000 words a day and seeing if I can blast out a draft that reflects the newly renovated story.  In a way it feels like I’m starting over, but now I have the right tools to make this the book I want to write.

I am optimistic about starting to make real progress again and this time in the end I’ll have something to show for it!

For those interested at how far this blog has come, check out my first post “A Beginning of Sorts.”

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Responses

  1. I hear you! According to my mathematical calculations, I should have had a best seller fading off the charts by now… But, I’m still not even halfway through my first attempt.

    Oh, well–I really am just enjoying the sheer excitement of learning to let it grow little by little now that my head has joined the rest of my body back on the ground…

    • If only reality was as predictable as math. Here’s to finishing what we start!

  2. Congratulations! I know how it feels when you finally start seeing your novel taking the shape it’s meant to have. It’s taken me two years to do it because I had a huge mess…plus the story turned out to be very complex. Glad you’ve made such good progress.

    • I was very excited to hear that you are starting the query process, it’s great to know that people like me really can write a book!

  3. Can’t wait to get the Crucible going again and seeing the new material!

    • Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last month, now life has settled I hope to soon have material ready to be looked at.

  4. Love the graphic!

    You go, girl.

    • So, yesterday was day one of getting to business – that morning at 6am we get a storm that is so severe that we bring the kids down from the upper level. The hail was nearly an inch in diameter. The lightning came so fast it seemed that the paparazzi was outside the window. Then there was the first day of school stuff to deal with and a cranky teething toddler.
      With all that, I still got it done!

  5. best wishes to you in completing the project.

  6. Once you get the rhythm going, it’ll all come together.

    On a related note, writers have to be just about the biggest gluttons for punishment on Earth.

    • It’s supposed to take around 40 days to build a habit – if I can muscle past this first little bit I think some exciting things will starting happening.

      As for being the biggest gluttons for punishment, I wholeheartedly agree.


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