I haven’t been back to the book for the last couple of weeks. It has remained closed since I wrote ‘The End’ on the final page. The main aim was to get some other work done that was outstanding before going forward with it. I’ve done my last game review for Orange Bison so that’s now filed and waiting for them to upload it. There’s also a wrestling report for my own podcast The Conquistabores to get done but that’s not far off.
Once the decks are cleared then it’ll be game time. I’ll be starting up another text file and then porting over all the rewritten chapters one by one onto the fresh slate. I figured this would be better than just cutting and pasting the whole thing over first and changing it all from there. At least this means the fresh versions will be on the new file from the get go.
It’s looking like I’ll be doing a chapter run through on this blog very soon followed by showing the first chapter both before and after the rewrite.
Having never really edited a first draft before I’m wondering what the first step is going to be. The most likely route I’ll be going down is writing down all my chapters in numerical order with a one sentence line about what happens in each. Then I’ll have a general overview about what happens in the story, what needs fixed and what needs cut all together. The concern I have is that I planned out nineteen chapters but it’s ended up being thirty four.
My other big worry right now is that there are parts in which I’ll expand outwards with. I’ve always been of the impression that you had to cut down when editing. The whole point is that you’re cutting down all the fat.
Yet here I am, with entire sections that are basically ‘something happens here’ that’ll need fleshed out. What I have at the moment is the pencil outline, I’m adding the shades right now.
I have a wrestling article to finish and a game review for a website. After that the battle starts all over again.
In a side note, for those keeping score, I made the fourth attempt at home made sourdough yesterday at it turned out like a Frisbee.
300g of starter
About 300ml of water.
And 5g rock salt
Has given me something that should be thrown as a sport not eaten
I’ve woken up this morning with a genuine clarity of mind. It has in turn made me feel really good within myself. I think it stems from the first draft being finished last night.
Often during the process of having I writing project on the go I’ll feel guilty about doing the stuff I enjoy. There is always the inner voice asking why I’m not hunched over the keyboard right this very minute. If I want to be a writer so bad and for that to be my main job then why am I not writing with every spare second I have free? It can get really miserable and means that I stress about going places or doing other stuff.
‘I’m getting older and need to crack this writing thing now!’ I will think to myself somehow of the strange belief that every newly published author is below 25.
After writing ‘The End’ last night I made a cup of coffee, laid out some biscuits and watched some wrestling on TV. I’ve done this before over the last eighteen months of this book project but that feeling of this act being frivolous vanished last night. It felt wonderful and probably contributed to the clear headed feeling I had this morning.
I’m off to Manchester this weekend for a Doctor Who fan convention. It’s been booked for a couple of months but I had the usual worry about it beforehand. Thinking about it this morning gave me a much more enjoyable angle on it.
Whilst the book certainly isn’t ‘finished’ it has passed that first major hurdle. Psychologically it’s been more beneficial than I ever thought it would be.
It’s the period of time it has taken me from writing the first word of this book to, five minutes ago, writing ‘The End’ on the final page if the first draft.
It reads horribly, I only did notes for nineteen chapters at the beginning yet seem to have run it up to thirty five, one character changes age halfway through because they were far better being older and the town itself only gets a name from about two thirds in. This is just the beginning of the problems this thing has.
Also this time scale would have been far shorter had I not been plagued with a severe case of not being bothered by it between September last year and February this. I think the initial rush of writing about these characters left me and the stark reality of having to do something with them set in. For many weeks I was avoiding doing anything for fear of having to sort all this out.
But the crucial part is that it exists as a whole project. I’ve partially broken Open Office doing this but I’ll fix that later. For now I have some wrestling articles I really need to write up. The first hurdle is done though and that’s the best feeling.
The Scottish school kids went back for term a couple of weeks ago and the English kids are following them this week. It’s belting down with rain outside so any thoughts of taking another trip out to the coffee shop today are being put on the back burner.
So it looks like a good day to write. As I look at the file now I can see that my word count is just shy of 53k so I’m not that far away from finishing what I consider to be a first draft. It’s a terrible read though with half formed ideas suddenly being introduced halfway through without much backing of set up. Once I begin the rewrites and the process of putting those new chapters into Microsoft Word as opposed to Open Office (those keeping track will remember that I broke Open Office spell check about 25,000 words in and it hasn’t returned) I’ll perhaps put some sections up here from both the old version and the new and show what sort of angle I’m going for. It’ll also hopefully detail how much the tone seems to have changed from what I was writing 18 months ago when 4,000 words was a major achievement.