Ahead Of My Game

Hot damn, finally finished summarizing all the scenes written to date in the format for the manuscript build. It’s taken way long that it should be that can be blamed not just on my own skittishness but because to make these notes I have to refer to the draft written so far. I could have lugged the print-outs around with me while I worked on the notes long hand, but it’s much faster skimming and skipping back and forth between two open Scrivener windows.

And now it’s done. And on my “Saturday” no less.

I don’t, however, get to crow about it at the next Hypergraphics meeting. Family thing that same night. I’m a little bummed, since this meeting promised to be more hands-on work on our current projects and reading from what we’ve worked on recently. Dammit. It’s also going to be the first meeting I’m going to miss since the group started. Not that it wasn’t going to happen eventually – August 7th I’ll be deliriously happy somewhere in a hotel hallway in the midst of the mania that is World Con – but I’ve started to get superstitious about stuff like that. As soon as I skip one, just one, it becomes acceptable to skip, and then your skipping and not in the fun, “Look at the butterflies on this glorious summer day!” sort of skipping. ‘Cause skipping leads to stopping.

It happened when I had a gym membership. Happened again when I started my write every day plan. I was doing so well and then I skipped once, for whatever reason, and then that led to more skipping, and then stopping. I’m back to writing either in page spurts (though longer pieces now, I’ve noticed) or in chunks on the computer. And since working on the manuscript build, I’ve written hardly a new damn word since.

Which is why I’m so pleased at this progress. Summarizing all the scenes I’ve written before was a big, overwhelming task. But I worked away at it, bit by lazy-ass bit, and now it’s done. All new work from here out.

The nice thing is that it really let me take a good look at the first part of the book. Originally written over a year ago, I can see where I was finding my way and I can see clearly places where I can cut and combine. Especially the first three scenes. Skipping all that stuff, going right to the mini-funeral, dropping my backstory here and there in little tidbits, and wham — should be a tighter and more intriguing beginning. Of course, I’m not writing that until the draft is completed. I will not (ever again) fall back into First Chapter Redux Syndrome.

Off to read a while.

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2 thoughts on “Ahead Of My Game

  1. Whatcha reading?

    I hate and I love revisions. First chapter redux? Oh boy, that sounds like fun.
    If it bothers you that you skip this once, then that is an indicator that will be stuck in your head. Make it “not an option” to be where you need to be for yourself.

  2. scribofelidae

    Heh. My own manuscript. :} I’m about half way through my second novel.

    What I used to do was I’d get an idea for a novel, plan out the “big bits” and then start writing and writing and then hit the wall anywhere between Chapter 3 and Chapter 6. Something big would chance in my understanding of the story and then I’d feel compelled to go back and start over, since it was all so wrong now. And I’d get to the same point, then come to a new understanding, and then want to go back. The first novel I really tried went through about three “fresh starts” before I gave up on it completely.

    Now I’m of the plan-what-you-can, write the whole draft, make notes and then edit the whole thing once you’re done. It’s the only way for me to finish anything.

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