Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Step Forward, But Standing Still

Today I finished the editing for my next critique group submission.  I wanted to get it done yesterday, but it seems I have become better at procrastination than I originally thought.  So, I decided to be happy with finishing today, as well as getting this blog post done.

Anyway, the point of the matter is that I finished the next two chapters, and I was happy that I finished it so early in the week, even if it was a day later than I was actually hoping for.  I was ahead of the game.

Unfortunately then I made the mistake of looking at my Dangerous Waters manuscript.  That's the one I'm trying to get through right now.  That's the one I want to have polished and ready by the end of April.  That's the one I want to query and get published.  It's the one I've put the most work into.

Sadly, it's also the one that still needs the most work.

A couple of weeks ago I went through the chapters I had left to edit and picked through the ones that (obviously) needed rewrites, and the ones I could try and edit.  I also figured out how many chapters I would have to add in order to fix the many mistakes I made while writing the novel.  (While it wasn't one of my nano novels, I still wrote it fairly quickly, and as it was one of my early novels, I didn't have the plot nailed down nearly as much as I thought when I started writing it).

Thirteen.  That's the number of chapters that need to be rewritten or added altogether.  I only had about twenty left to edit, so that's a fair amount.

This leaves me with a bit of a problem.  All of that work certainly doesn't make me want to actually do the editing.  It probably would have been better if I hadn't gone through and figured out what needed to be done.  Yet I can't regret it because I've always been a planner.  I actually spend more time planning them than I do writing them.  So not knowing how much I was going to have to change was bothering me enough that I felt I had to do it, and I did.

Being at a stand still with Dangerous Waters, however, means more than that one novel never being finished.  In fact, not finishing that novel means that all the other projects I have on the go (refer to the Progress Report section) are also not getting worked on or completed.

Sometimes I tend to get myself in over my head.  For example, during nano I decided to write 200,000 words.  But about five days in I changed that to 300,000 words.  Most of the month I was overwhelmed and thought I wouldn't finish.  I did.  Just barely, but I did.  Now I have all of this work, and I'm feeling overwhelmed, but for some reason I'm not really moving forward.  I can get done what I need to get done for my critique group, but other than that, I'm not making any progress.

It doesn't matter that I really want to finish this novel.  That I want to have it, done and complete, in my hands, and ready to send out to agents and publishers.  I want to feel like I've accomplished something.

I guess I'll just have to suck it up and get down to it.  Starting tomorrow (and everyday for at least a little while until Monday) I'm going to continue editing Dangerous Waters.  I have a goal to finish the next three chapters by the end of Sunday.  (In case you were wondering, the next three chapters are ALL rewrites, so it's going to be harder than it sounds.)

Don't worry, I'll let you know how it goes in my next post, also scheduled Sunday.  Till then, happy editing!


  1. I hear this. I imagined being much further ahead on third draft edits for Fallen Things by now, but it keeps getting pushed back as I work on revising for critiques. But! We will push past this, and we will finish these novels! And it will be Epic ;)

  2. Storywonk, the podcast I listen to everyday, suggests that we #novelengage with our novels everyday. The usual route is 20 minutes daily(even if it's dedicated to creating a collage for your story, editing, listening to a soundtrack or reading over it(oh, and if you're really desperate, actual writing ^_^;) spent engaging with your novel.

    When I can't get myself to stay on task with my novel, I try novel engaging for three weeks. It always gets me ready to write again.

    By the way, great new background!

  3. Isn't it awesome?? I LOVE it!! Eventually I'm going to have a header, and I'm planning on changing the picture as well as what it says in the 'about me' section. I may add other stuff too, but I don't know yet...

    I do want to work on writing everyday, I just have to get that motivation going. So now I just have to figure out a way to motivate myself to edit...I've got writing figured out...any ideas??

    And yes, Eric, it will be very Epic. We'll have Epically finished novels, and then we will send out some Epic queries, and eventually we will be Epically published. Now I must get to some Epic editing so that I can experience the Epic feeling of finally finishing a novel...

    (wow...I wonder if I could have used Epic more often in that paragraph?? ^.~)

    1. Maybe in a couple of places... ;) (Okay, so I only identified one place where another 'Epic' could be inserted, but still :P)

    2. lol. Well, if there was even one, I guess I was slacking ^^