Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finished with Chapter 1 AGAIN

I've declared the rewrite done on this chapter twice before and still found that I needed or wanted to return to it before moving on. The honest truth is that I only think I know what the right thing to do is, and I usually found out different within about 12 hours.

I have a friend who is a writer and who has been offering to read some when I need it. I think the time is right. Hopefully it won't turn out like last weekend when my wife's reading of Chapter 1 sent me back to work on it for another four days. In any case, my plan now is to move on to Chapter 2.

Today was a good day because I broke through on the stamina issue and put in a solid 2 1/2 hours. And in general I'm "living with" the book again. It's on mind all the time, and I even was drawn back to it a couple times late in the day yesterday to just go through the file for Chapter 1 and keep tweaking the language.

Today was also a good day because I was able to keep on task. I have a little running list of things I need to fix in Chapter 1--from digging in and developing scenes to fixing some internal consistency problems in the exposition to deciding what exposition to cut. I have them prioritized from big picture to small and have a plan for working on certain ones each day. (I usually end up adding more things to the list.) I was able to knock off three important tasks today, leaving I hope only small issues that are best left until the next stage of revision.

At least I hope revision is the right word for the next stage and not more rewriting. I don't want to think about how long it will take to finish this book if I go through all 15 chapters and then realize that I have to keep digging deeper and rewrite again.

That 2 1/2 hours this morning--and the mental fatigue that washes over into the rest of the day--is coming at the expense of the paying work I'm supposed to be doing. So, I'm going to have to take tomorrow (a Friday) off from the book and really bear down on the paper grading.

So, Monday morning, I try starting Chapter 2 again.

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