Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not sure what I'm doing, but I know it's hard work

I've put in a lot of time the last couple days, but it's hard to say how. I'm in one of those zones where I'm deep in it, but it's really disorganized. Trying to read myself to sleep late last night it suddenly came to me what the novel I was writing did succesfully that my own draft so far does not, and I got up to make a bunch of notes.

In general, my editing notes/to do lists are a big mess. It's hard to know where to start with it, so I just thumb through it all looking for a piece that seems worthy of the fresh energy I bring in the morning and then pinball around after that. I probably dug into pieces of 6 or 7 different chapters the last couple days. Certain kinds of errands take less mental energy, so I turn to those at certain points during the day so as to keep being productive. One example is that "search" activity I mentioned before, slowly weeding out as many weak constructions as possible.

I guess in a way I'm on the border between trying to get a big picture sense of what is lacking and starting to tackle some of that. I really want to get it in as strong a shape as possible before handing it off to my reader in about 4 weeks, and I really don't know what's possible.

4 weeks--that's about 4 chapters a week if I started tackling them in order. I don't think I can get to everything I know needs to be done. Maybe if I just deal with the one major thing I know is wrong in each chapter, 1 per day . . .

OK, I'm ending the day with a plan to try that tomorrow. Start with Chapter 1, but don't try to work through the whole thing. Look at my notes, pick the biggest weakness, and try to focus on that scene. With any leftover time I can pick at the smaller issues.

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