Thursday, January 2, 2020

Staying Focused in New Year

It's been a slow process but I finished the second rewrite of my work-in-progress. Whew!

As mentioned in a previous post, there were several distractions during the holidays. But since Christmas, I focused on the manuscript and reached the end.

Along the way, I added about 8,000 words; that's about 12,000 fewer of my guestimate of 20,000 going in. At this point, I have a little over 68k. 

For those new to this blog, the WIP is the fourth installment in my "John Ross Boomer Lit" series. John and Sally Ross have returned from Budapest and are having to deal with a new set of concerns at their Kentucky home.

Here's a simple quote from the great Stephen King about rewriting: "I cannot emphasize the importance of rewriting."

The second rewrite was a learning experience for me: 
  • I learned that the manuscript was going off the rails and needed to get back on track (pardon the cliche).
  • I took notes and will be slicing and dicing in the third rewrite to make it coherent and focused.
  • Even at 68k words, the manuscript is still bloated. I'll trim the fat, tighten the dialogue, and perhaps expand some of the narrative to gain a clearer vision.

Each stage of writing a novel provides joy and despair. I find rewriting to be hard work where I have to deal with all aspects of writing, from grammar to storyline to ending—and everything else (dialogue, characters, scenes, descriptions, etc.). 

Where writing the first draft is kind of a mental free-for-all, the rewriting is getting into the trenches to reach the destination. It's down and dirty work, something I dread going in but relish once I dig into the words.

I still have the goal of completing the manuscript and sending it to my editor by the end of January. If I have any resolutions in this new year, that's the first one. The second is to be more focused on my writing in 2020 (pun intended). And a third is to see this manuscript published.

Until the next time . . .