Tomorrow is my first full day of writing time since the Great Christmas Pause a few weeks ago. I have a quiet spell ahead, so I’m hoping to get a little start on my 2014 work. I figured this was probably a good time to get back into these writing blogs.
So, what does that mean? After months of musing, contemplating and general hoping for the best, time to finally start editing that novel I finished at the end of November. Shit.
Basically, aside from keeping up on my Hobson & Choi deadlines, my only hard goal for 2014, fiction-wise, is thus: get the modern-Faustian novel first draft up to a decent standard. I will settle for achieving this by the end of the year, but if I’m being honest, I’d quite like to manage it before that. How long is a reasonable amount of time to edit a 90,000ish word first draft into decent shape? I honestly don’t know, but a whole year seems like it should be enough, especially considering I don’t currently work full-time.
Keep in mind, I don’t intend to even send it out to beta readers until I’ve done one very full edit. I haven’t sat down and worked out the main changes yet, but I know it’ll involve shifting parts around and writing several whole new chapters. So there’s the first big rewrite, the pause while beta readers judge it, then the subsequent rewrites. Having typed that out, maybe I should prepare myself for it taking the whole year.
So, now that I’ve thought about what I’ll be doing in December 2014, let’s move back down to tomorrow. Keep it manageable, focus on goals you can really enact.
Tomorrow, once I’ve done enough H&C work to keep on target, I need a plan. If I’m going to get this done with any order and efficiency, I need to look over what I’ve got and try to create some kind of overview of what I’m trying to create, preferably accompanied by a list of what I need to do to achieve this. Part of me feels this is getting quite far off the Dream Creative Process but fuck that. Making it up as I go along has never led to my best work (and has also directly caused some of the problem in this very manuscript), so I’m going to avoid it.
I hope this slightly terrified download from my brain has struck a chord somewhere. I don’t pretend to be giving advice here, if anything I’m actively reaching out for it. If your own editing adventures have given you any insight into how I should go about this, share them in the comments (or use whichever of the contact methods listed here you like best) for god’s sake.
Oh, and readers of my unadvertised Christmas Day blog message may remember I mentioned ideas for the Next Novel. Those have been noted, and will now go totally ignored until I’ve got some kind of rhythm going on this editing.