Thursday, 30 July 2015

Aaand...back to writing

The King Stone. My latest WIP.

It's coming on...slowly. I'm test-running the first draft by a few cloudie friends at the moment, trying to see whether the story's holding together. They seem to think so...

(It's also helping me to keep busy before I receive the edits of both StarMark and a second Random Writer's anthology. Had I told you that there's going to be another Random anthology, by the way? And that I've got another story in it? No? Oops... well, there is. Soon. Stories about what happened after the 'happily ever after' of the fairytale/myth/legend. And being a Random project, they all had to have a twist, so they're set in a historical time and event that is significantly different to the original...)

Anyway - back to King Stone.

What I'm finding interesting in the editing process at the moment is that I had a really naff first draft. Yes, I'd thrashed the story out, knew where it was going, but in itself, it's a pretty dire example of a novel. But allowing myself the luxury of a naff first draft gave me the chance to identify where I needed to tweak the start of the story to backfill some gaping holes that only became apparent as the story developed.

The officially-draft-two chapters are looking more like officially-draft-one-and-a-half in some cases. They're still incredibly rough and the readers are picking up, for example, that Katia (my MC) is not coming across very strongly in them. Yet in some of the earlier chapters where there weren't so many plot holes, the testers could tell I was in my stride and the writing was more confident.

At this stage, the chapters are also very fluid; it's good to be able to test where I feel the chapter break should be with the readers, even if it's actually sitting somewhere slightly different when I present the chapter to them.

And I'm skipping around as I deal with draft 2. I missed out chapter 4 as that needed building from scratch, presented chapter 5, went back to make notes for chap 4, posted chap 6... Next stop will probably be to tighten the notes and make Chap 4 something that actually looks a bit more like a chapter than my deranged thoughts for an outline. It's quite liberating, actually!

What's really good about this whole process is that it's still within my 100 days of writing challenge. I'm up to 87 days now - not all of them consecutive - but it's a great way to track my progress and remind myself to write. In fact, due to visitors recently, I've had the longest non-writing period (three days) since I started! I was itching to get back to the WIP and colour in another box...

I'd like to be able to put stats to this novel - to show myself exactly how long it took to produce a first draft (74 writing days), how long to do a second, a third...and so on.

But in the meantime, draft one-and-a-half-and-sometimes-two beckons...

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