Monday, May 19, 2008

Finally really finished with rewrite of Part 1

I had my wife read the last two chapters of Part 1 over the weekend and spent a long time talking with her about it the way we used to do last summer when I was drafting it. That always helps. This morning, I took her notes--which were very few--and worked over a few key spots in those chapters.

And what that work, I'm calling Part 1 done. Done in the sense that I intended for my first rewrite--the material has all been gone over carefully and "developed" as best as I can for now. Every chapter deals with the thematic and plot questions of the book--with the character's desires and motivations. Every chapter complicates the quest a little bit, closing off some avenues, raising the stakes. All the chapters relate to one another so that it adds up to a story with a plot and a character who changes with the plot and vice versa.

I expect that as I think about it more while I'm working on Part 2 and certainly when I get some other readers to comment on it at some later point, I'll become aware of more development work that needs to be done. That will be the second rewrite. But nothing like that is apparent to me now.

On to Part 2. Let's say, worst case, that takes me the same relative amount of time. That would mean about 4-5 months. What I'm hoping though is that the last couple of months of work is a better model--that what I figured out after the first 4-5 months of stumbling around and finally getting my act together in February will be a useful lesson for the rest of the rewrite. In that case, 5 weeks would be a good ambitious estimate.

Officially, I'm not starting the next stage until almost ten days from now when I've gotten myself overseas and set up in my accommodations there. But I think I'll open the files and start poking around this week so that I start stewing on whatever problems are most obvious. It's a long sleepless plane ride across the Pacific, so that's a good time to chew on technical and plot problems.

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