It’s the new year, and not only that, but the start of a new decade. It’s sinking in that I’ve had my book floating around in my mind now for nearly 20 years, it’s current iteration for the last 2 years, and it’s predecessor for 8. Wow! Time really does fly by, especially for procrastinating writers such as myself.
The previous draft of my book I set a deadline for of May 2012, and I made that deadline, I completed the draft. It was not a polished version by ANY means, but it was a finished draft, and I met my goal.
I took it seriously. May 2012 I joined the Air Force, and leading up to this I was sure that once I embarked on my new career I wouldn’t have any time to finish it, so I buckled up, strapped in, and put in the hard hours to finish it by deadline, and I DID!
Now I’m staring down the barrel of a new decade. I’m done having kids (not raising them though but I can write around that 🙂 ), I’ve completed my education, relocated for the last time, and I have a great career. I have no more additional excuses than anyone else who writes, so it’s time to buckle up, strap in, and put in the hard hours again to finish the final iteration of book 1 in my series THIS YEAR!
I’ve done it before, I can do it again. I’m 28,000 words in and my goal is at least 100,000. Hopefully around this number I will be where I want to end, but I have a feeling it might go a little over this, and that’s okay. One hundred thousand is my ball park, my “I have to have at least this many for an agent to take me seriously” number. The previous draft which I finished in 2012 was 110,000, and this go through I’ve cut out so much exposition and boring scenes, but also added in, reworked, and expanded many also so I’m about even.
Why has it taken me almost 20 years? Initially, my book was going to be one huge saga, but I realized that with every new life event, writing took a backseat, and when I found the time to begin again, my whole outlook and writing style had changed so much that I had to start over. After the 3rd time of this, I decided I was trying to do too much at once, and decided to break it down into a trilogy. May 2012 I finished the draft of book 1.
So with this being 2020, a new year, a new decade, new motivation has taken hold. No more excuses, it’s time to take my writing aspirations seriously and finish book 1, polish it up, shuffle it off to a few beta readers, make some last minute touches, and start querying agents.
Once again, my writing style has changed so much that to be honest, I can’t even bring myself to reread the 2012 version, or v12 as I’ll call it from now on. I know what happens in all the scenes though by heart, and in July 2018 I undertook the new and improved version that I am confident enough in to submit for publishing, from this point forward I will call it v18.
I’m currently reworking chapter 6 and so much has changed for the better. Some scenes have been cut, my exorbitant character list is now manageable for the reader, I’ve expanded several scenes which I’d rushed through before, taken time to develop the key characters, and have shifted some scenes to a later place in the book.
All in all, I’m thrilled with v18, and I’m confident that this will be the last iteration, but I have to stick with it. I started this writing project in 2002, and I’ll be damned if I’m not done with the first of three installments by the 20th year and at least have obtained an agent.
Each week I will be blogging on my progress, sort of like Nanowrimo, but for the whole year, until I’ve completed the whole book. Word count, any inspirations or hang ups I’ve had, and decisions to cut, add, or move scenes will be explored–all will be revealed week by week. Please feel free to share your own progress with me on your book in the comments.
Since 1 January 2020, I have started reworking scene 2 in chapter 6, allowed the muses to add in a dog with a pretty important role, and written 738 words so far. This scene is still not complete, not edited or polished, and it’s been moved up from its place in v12, where it was previously in chapter 9. I made the decision to move it up because quite frankly, there are a lot of exposition scenes in v12 that I’ve completely cut out. The information revealed in those scenes will be told in a more interesting way later on.
That’s it! Until next week! Happy writing and good luck with your 2020 resolutions!