Fiction, Process

Plan your work, work your plan

20140729_100849I completed the second draft edits of “Afterlife.” To give you a clue at the lack of fanfare regarding this event, my husband doesn’t even know that.  And in his defense – I just decided that I was done with the edits on Sunday night after about a week’s lull of activity regarding my WIP.  I was sitting at my desk when it hit me … I’m done with the second round of edits.  In fact, I had finished edits when I was in a hotel room in Colorado the week before.

But this should also give you an idea of how long I still have to go with AL.  The internal deadline I had set for myself with AL was that she’d be ready for beta readers by the fall.  Conservatively, I’d say that she’ll be ready closer to Christmas.  There are still some holes, there are some exciting things that I discovered during the second round of edits that I’m going to go back and flesh out.

Next steps?  Mentally, I decided that I finished the second round of edits on July 18th.  I’m giving AL a month to rest and then I’m picking her up again for version 3.  (As you can see in the photo above, I have the binder for v3 all ready!)

Here’s what I’ll be doing in the meantime:

  • Reading “Write Your Novel From the Middle” by James Scott Bell.  The middle of my novel has issues.  There’s some pacing concerns that I’ve grappled with during v2, so I’m hoping that this helps.
  • Dammit … I wanted this to be a bulleted list.  And to be honest, that’s really the only thing I’m doing in preparation for v3.  There are other things that I’ve done to further AL.  Those include (subbullets!)
    • Reread a lot of Patricia Briggs … Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite characters in paranormal literature. Plus, the way that Briggs presents her stories in the same POV that AL is in.  It’s a good primer to see what I want to accomplish with my own work.
    • Finished rereading Elizabeth Lowell’s “Always Time to Die.”  For some reason, that novel has been stuck in my head and I re-read it on my flight back and forth to Colorado.  I tried to pay particular attention to how Lowell unfolded “ATtD” because she has a lot of story threads moving through this novel and I wanted to see how she managed all of them and still presented a pretty gripping story.  (Even if some of the romantic dialogue leaned heavily towards the cheese territory.)

Starting August 18th, I’ve taken three days of PTO from work and I’m going to devote that time to kickstarting round three of edits.  My goal is to complete that round of edits by October 11th.  It’s ambitious, but not impossible.

In the meantime, I’m going to take my hiatus from AL to switch gears and start outlining a story that I started a few years back.  I have a big problem with starting and abandoning projects.  As a result, I have about four orphaned stories that I’ve been working on over the past 10 years or so.  This story (the working title is “Summoned”) is one that has been niggling at my brain lately and I’m very much looking forward to going down that path again and setting up a road map that I can refer to when I go back to writing that particular tale.

Plan your work, work your plan … Happy Tuesday, everyone!

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