(Note: I’ve turned the blog over to Bethe Bugbee today. Her post is an excellent example of what writing is like when you are learning the craft and having a life. Note that what stopped her from writing temporarily was Hurricane Ike. That’s dedication!)
Two different people had recommended that I read Ken Rand’s The 10% Solution. I did that and realized that one of my problems was that I was not separating the writing and editing process. I was trying to do them both at the same time. It seemed easier to try and break up two pieces of writing and editing by starting fresh with a new project that had been percolating in my brain for a while.
I really like how the story is unfolding, but my progress is very slow. It has been three steps forward and two steps back. I had a large chunk written, about 25,000 words, before I started showing it to my critique group. At that point I realized that what I thought was the beginning, wasn’t really the beginning. I kept going backwards, eventually finding that the start of the novel was an entire year before the original beginning. I now have four or five chapters roughed out, but that still does not get me back to the chunk I had written before. Recently two new people joined my critique group. Rather than give them the existing versions of the first chapters and explain to them all the things that were going to be fixed and changed, I decided to go back and make the changes. That’s where I am now. In some ways, I feel like I am going backwards and should just push ahead with new material. But then a section that I know has had problems from the beginning suddenly comes together. I have given myself little deadlines of not working on each chapter for more than a month. I’ll see how that works.
FYI – I did manage to write 250 words a day for about five or six weeks after the last Armadillocon. Then I had to cut back because I was so far behind on so many other things. (that mom guilt thing again.) Of course, Hurricane Ike coming though Houston right about then and leaving us without power for ten days and a large area of siding ripped off our house didn’t help.