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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Day 15 in the 15K in May House

Oh dear! Its all going horribly wrong - or is it? If you look at the stats for my word count, then yes, it looks miserable, because by this point I should have written at least 7,500 words by now. Instead, I find myself in a strange place I'm not familiar with, and if I'm honest, its not a nice place. Anyone who has edited a novel will understand what I mean only too well!

I've re-read my novel, and as a writing friend describes it, I've started 'serious' editing, cutting anything not needed, pruning back the dead wood. Mostly everything that doesn't move the story forward in some way has to go, and now the plot has lots of bigger holes. Argh! I've made a list of what I need to fill later.

I've overwritten, here, there and everywhere, and I know sooner or later I'm going to have to make some huge decisions on cutting scenes, and possibly a character too. I have a fear of making BIG cuts, I need to get over it!

I'm tired, make that VERY tired, and I'm not sure if its the hectic life I lead, or all the reading and thinking, and decision making associated with editing. My concentration wanes considerably after a few hours, so I've recently had to switch to working in bite sized chunks. Am I enjoying it? No - an easy answer, I'm hoping things will change, and SOON.

I've been offered lots of writerly advice, thank you, keep it coming. I'm finding it very useful, and I have a list of things I need to 'fix' when I do begin to write words again, but right now, I'll continue hacking, and dropping the offcuts into my new 'Dead Darlings' file.

I have created an emotional outline, this is helping me keep track of the structure, I've asked myself what each character wants, and I'm tracking their progress throughout the story. Hopefully, its all going to link up soon.

Having others along for the ride helps, there are a few of us doing this challenge, we communicate through twitter using the hashtag #15kinmay and we have a daily email doing the rounds too. We're not all editing, some are blogging, writing first drafts, or working on unfinished short stories. Each has a target in mind, and slowly, we're making progress. My word count may be a bit pants, but I know I wouldn't be this far along if I hadn't taken up the challenge.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday - ZERO
Thursday  - 366
Friday - ZERO
Saturday - ZERO
Sunday - ZERO
Monday - ZERO
Tuesday - 298

24 comments:

  1. Hi Maria, I think it's much more difficult to participate in a wordcount challenge when you are where you are in a project. You really do need time to think and freedom to cut without having to worry on the other side of filling in the gaps. There may have to be days of pruning and restructuring before the bones are clean enough to fill in the gaps again. I struggle all the time with motivation and confidence, particularly when in the depths of a project like you are because it's like being in the middle of a forest. I'd imagine the tiredness is for all the reasons you describe. I did not write much this morning, I did a bit of research, thought about how this new project can be differentiated from others I'm working on and moved on to thinking about my writing future in general! Somehow we need to see the wider picture so go on with your pruning and I would say and worry on wordcount second. You know this I'm sure. Pruning and restructuring is the most exhausting thing of all so good luck!

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    1. Thank you Alison, its good to know I'm not on my own, and these feelings of doubt are 'normal' in the process.
      Good luck with your project.

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  2. I must have missed this when you first started, because I would have jumped right on board! You're making progress, and though you might not hit that target, you're still further forward than you were. Best if luck for the rest of the month :-)

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    1. Its never too late Trudy. Thank you for your comments too.

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  3. Think I should join, have promised to have next book published by the end of August. My word count is rather unimpressive.

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    1. You can join in and do as much as you can? Deadlines are good in one way, as they do make you get on and do it!

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  4. Keep going, Maria. If you cut away all the fat, at least you'll be left with a rigid skeleton about which to hang your re-write. Or, worst-case, a good short story! Bacon sandwich therapy helps...

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    1. Hello Stephen, I think i might have a long short story now. ;-) And the odd bacon butty really does help, along with chocolate, and tea...but not all together. :-)

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  5. Don't be too hard on yourself, Maria. You may not be churning out words, but you are not working on a first draft so it's much more about deep thinking and getting the story to work as a whole. It sounds like you are making the most of what little time you have and your WIP is still progressing. Keep going!

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    1. Thank you Wayne, I am keeping your words in mind.

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  6. I think it would be easier to work to that sort of schedule if you were starting a completely new book, but you are doing great don't beat yourself up about it,if you don't finish no one will shoot you,honest.

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    1. Anne, those are wise words. Thank you. :-)

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  7. I've been in the same stage more than I'm willing to admit, but finally (thankfully) nearing completion. Like you, I discovered some holes in the plot that had to be fixed...and overwriting. I find I can only edit (max) 4 hours a day before my brain turns to mush. I track my minutes/hours to keep me on target, which helps. Just keep going....that's the key...even a tortoise makes the finish line :-) (That's what I keep telling myself)

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    1. Hello Sharon, you have given me an idea, I might set an alarm, do n hour then take a good break, maybe go for a walk or swim, then come back and do another. I'll only be able to do that at the weekend though, as I'm in full time work too, which is part of the issue.

      I do feel a tortoise with this project, its very frustrating. I thought I was looking forward to editing, but I am beginning to hate the process! However, I shall now try and sort myself out. Thanks for the idea.

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  8. Try not to worry Maria, you still put me to shame. As others have commented, editing isn't about word count. You're doing OK, you just have to believe it.

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    1. I am going to believe it. I shall give myself a good talking to Sally, and knuckle down... :-) I think this last week hasn't helped me as I have been very busy outside in the 'real' world too. :-)

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  9. Been machetiing my way through Chapter Two here Maria. It's hard going. I can relate to everything you say.

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    1. Keep going Keith, you are so close. ;-)

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  10. Hi Maria, I've been re-reading my novel too and to my horror I found a hole in the plot... So now I'm rewriting the end of my finished novel.
    Thank God I decided to read through it again.

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    1. Isn't it amazing what we miss? Hope you manage to get it sorted out. ;-)

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  11. I'm currently editing/rewriting. Usually I love this process, but I've found a couple of holes that need filling too. Good luck with the challenge - like others have said, it must be hard to achieve a word count when your instinct is to cut.

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    1. It is hard Annalisa, and maybe by the end, my 15k will be words cut, rather than words written! So be it, I'm on a mission now.

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  12. Maria - editing can be much more challenging than the initial writing, and often the ebb and flow of mental energy is connected to physical energy.

    Hang in there!

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    1. Yes Barbara, I'm beginning to think so...I've not felt this tired for a very long time. Although, last night instead of collapsing into my bed, I slept badly. I think I was trying to fill a rather large hole in my plot, rather than focusing on rest.

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