The most important thing. That’s what what I didn’t do.
Oh, I did lots yesterday, don’t get me wrong. I did three loads of laundry, ran off to the grocery store to pick up bread for the luscious risotto that I made and walked home because I missed my bus, I tidied here and there, got a roaring fire that kept me and the kittens all snuggly for the day.
But the only thing I really wanted to do? The first read-through of the WIP after finishing the draft?
Yeah. Not so much.
I had gathered all my materials — my notebook, my spread-sheets, my coffee — and settled in with some music playing and tried to read the draft on my iPad in iAnnotate. My rational was that a) I wanted to use as little paper as possible, b) be able to take the whole thing with me and c) it would limit me from line editing. Mostly. (This is the read-thru. Line editing will come after all the structural work is done. Line editing now is pointless when whole chapters will need to be re-written.)
I had used iAnnotate before to critique a writing group member’s story when he needed the feedback faster than I could physically get it to him and it had worked brilliantly. Not sure if it’s me balking at my own read-thru or if the updates to the program have put me off, but I found I could not go through it as quickly as I wanted. Switching back between writing and reading mode quickly became irksome. I tried to see what other applications I had that might let me do similar, like Notetaker HD, but it didn’t like the 312 page document and I still felt as though the process was slowing me down.
After two hours of this nonsense, I printed out the whole thing … and then realized that the pretty PDF, which shows up electronically with page numbers, did not, in fact, have page numbers outside of the program. The temptation was there to just plough through but one misplaced flying cat (of which I have two) and I would have a disaster on my hands.
In the end, I spent the afternoon page-numbering the manuscript and I got as far as 10 pages in before my brain shut down completely and I put it aside. And I’m line-editing, to boot.
Yesterday was supposed to be my ra-ra, go-get-em start to the revision process. Instead it was a big let down, a balloon pop, a fizzle.
Trying to salvage today before it, too, runs off course. I have to read over the pieces of a writing exercise that we all submitted and will discuss tonight, which won’t take too long, but beyond that, the only thing I want to accomplish is to get somewhere with my own read-thru. Originally I had visions of getting through the bulk of it over my weekend, but that strikes me now as unrealistic. If I am going to be thinking critically of it, not reading for pleasure but also taking notes, trying to organize it, it will not be a speedy process. There is no point in trying to make it speedy as it will only end up disappointing myself at not achieving an unachievable goal. Who knows. I hope that if I am lucky enough to continue this, my future read-thrus won’t be so anxiety-riddled and I can just get on with the getting on with it.
The first correction? I am not sitting on the couch to do this. That did not work at all. There is a difference between comfortable and comfort; comfortable means that my circumstances do not detract from the experience while pure comfort leads to idleness. My office chair is comfortable, so I don’t get bent out of shape being at my desk for long hours. My love-seat, meanwhile, is just pure comfort, where I can stretch out, put my feet up, and nestle into a fluffy blanket. Being pointed at the Magic Fun Box, i.e., the television, doesn’t help, either. I may not have cable but I have waaaaay too many interesting things on my Apple TV (the funnest box of all!).
For space, I will work at the kitchen table today. I will try to get through 50 pages, make my notes, and then set it down. I’m going to tackle it in chunks, NaNoWriMo-style, and make my notes. I want to have it done before my next days off, so that I can take all the material I have and input it into my computer and map it out on my white board.
Then, the week after, I analyze, re-plot as needed, and plan out what scenes need to be rewritten whole-cloth, added or removed/merged. Once the new words get done, then the line edit, and then, hopefully, off to Beta readers.
Which means … time to get back to it.
Now, for some good news? Yesterday I found out that my story, All The Way, made it to the short list for the magazine I submitted it to. Fingers cross! And my work schedule survived the temporary, mini-shiftbid.