Thursday, April 14, 2011

Writers group and picking up the pace

As with the last draft, there are some spots in this draft that need more attention than others -- the same spots, really -- and so the pace of my revisions varies as I move through different sections. The first four chapters continue to be where I have to work carefully. I guess I don't establish the story as well as I carry it out in the middle. As a result, the work was slower going up until today when I passed out of the set up material, and now I'm cruising for awhile. I'm through pg. 77 and chapter 7. (The chapter numbering is going to be changing at the conclusion of this draft, and I've already grown the total by 5 pages.) It's hard to predict the pace in the future. I'd guess about a solid week of work without any interruptions, but I do have a lot going on in the next couple weeks.

I'm moving into an exciting new phase of my writing life. For the first time I'm in a writer's group, formed with a friend and some of her MFA classmates. We met for the first time last night to get to know one another and establish ground rules. Naturally, I'll keep their work in confidence.

I'm looking forward to it a lot, but I am struggling to figure out how best to use their attention. There's a limit to how many pages I can impose on them, and being a novelist who gets my work through several drafts before I start feeling the need to share, I'm not sure what is smart to give them. I don't expect to have any new raw pages. I'm not even sure which of the 3 books I have in play to give them parts of. I think I'm just going to have to make a choice without a lot of confidence behind it and go with the flow until I have a better sense of what kind of feedback I can get in this kind of context.

I expect to hear from my other reader (of the 3rd draft) before the end of the week. And I have another definite reader lined up for whenever I finish the 4th draft.

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