Friday, March 12, 2010

[Book Update] Twofer!

This week was a total twofer! I spent Monday working on my short story, then Tuesday and Wednesday finally finishing up chapter 12. The longest chapter so far, it actually doesn't do nearly as much as I'd like to advance the story, but it gives us tremendous insight into two major characters so it's got a lot of value. I may have to seriously revamp it at some point, but as of Thursday morning, it's D-O-N-E. Which is great, because it seemed to take forever (mostly because I stopped halfway through to write the short story).

But that's not all! Order now and you also get Chapter 13, which I just finished. Woo hoo! That's right, you get TWO big chapters (well, a big one and a smallish one) for the price of one, just pay separate postage and handling.

Plus, I REALLY like Chapter 13. It introduces the first named bad guy in the story. I'm not sure yet how vital he'll be (I suppose I should make an effort to use him a bit since I built a very readable chapter around him), but the chapter, brief as it is, really busts the story open in some significant ways. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I say, "Wow, did I actually write about THAT in this chapter, too?"

So there we are. Heading into this weekend, I've got 13 chapters in various stages of complete. My challenges, which are three-fold, continue to evolve:

1. Write the damn thing. Sure, I've finished 13 chapters, but I estimate the story will run anywhere from 30-50 chapters total, so I've got a ways still to go.

2. Edit the damn thing. I've been deliberately slacking off on this because I really want my emphasis to be on getting the first draft written. Still, re-reading and editing the finished chapters was very helpful to me in keeping continuity and compensating for my generally crappy memory. I need to find a way to keep on top of the early stuff, beyond the one chapter a week I edit and bring to the writer's roundtable.

3. Update my notes. This is a two-fold issue. First, every word I write in the book makes my notes farther out of date. I add character and setting descriptions, I make up all sorts of new stuff, and then I don't put it in my notes where I can find it later. This makes it really hard to refer back to stuff I already wrote, since I never remember it perfectly. I haven't even been updating my outline of what happens in each chapter, which would at least make it easier for me to go back and look stuff up when I have to. Second, I continue to write new hand-written notes. I'm up to 15 or 20 pages of them, now, and none of it's been entered into my OneNote story bible. I often find myself flipping through those pages to find (or not find) notes I've made about how to write a particular scene or how a given character should be have. Having everything in OneNote was supposed to make that stuff easier, and it did when all of my notes were in there. What I'm lacking is a mechanism to add new ones, beyond just sitting down and doing it. Perhaps if I don't spend the whole weekend doing my taxes I'll find time to do that, too.

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