Monday, February 18, 2008

Timeline and lowered expectations

Right now I'm thinking that a good goal would be to finish my "rewrite" of Part 1--which makes up about 2/3 of the total length--by about mid-May. I'd like to move at a quicker pace, and had started this process assuming a much quicker pace, but experience so far has told me that it's about 3 weeks/chapter. And even then the progress made on that rewrite, while necessary and important, isn't what I had assumed at the beginning. More rewriting will be called for later.

After May I'll have a two-month period where I'm unlikely to work on the book at all because of some other stuff going on. It's possible I can set up a routine to work every day during that period, but this other thing is a rare and important opportunity and I don't want to tether myself prematurely, so I'm planning on that period being unavailable for progress on the novel.

So, assuming a return to work on August 1, I would be fortunate to finish the rewrite of Part 2 sometime between Thanksgiving and December.

That is a very disappointing conclusion to reach after the expectations I started with, but I don't see any way around it. Well, I see ways to improve on it--don't give up those two months this summer, be disciplined about adding some time each day. But I don't see a way to get close to my starting expectation, which was something like one chapter a week, finishing in about 15 weeks or so. I'm already way past that, and I'm still working on Chapte r5.

The timeline for the whole book, all the rewrites that will be necessary, is starting to look more like years than months.

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