Monday, October 31, 2005
Dark of the Moon
Sunny and mild
In spite of the need for today being a busy, productive day, today is also the day to take stock of where I am and where I need to go; to get rid of what I no longer need; to figure out where I went off the rails in the past year and get back on track. A time for reflection and planning for the future. Today is the final harvest of the year. I have a lot for which to be grateful. And I have a lot of work ahead of me.
Check out the buffet of Halloween treats over on Circadian Poems.
I’m very excited that, at midnight, we can start NaNoWriMo. I’m ready. I know how much I need to do each day to hit the minimum, I know how much I want to do to reach my goal.
The Fix-It Girl will be approximately 100,000 words, so hitting the NaNo goal this month will mean it’s half way done. I’m going to run two bars for it – one for NaNo, and one for the completed piece.
Even though I didn’t get a chance to work on Never Too Late lately, I don’t want to simply shunt it aside completely. I do want to continue with it. I’d like to do a page every day if I can, just so that I don’t completely lose the thread of it. I’ve come so far with it; I don’t want to lose it.
Once NaNo is done, I have to figure out which piece is a “primary project” and aim to write 1000 words per day on it. Then, I’ll do whatever I can on one or two “secondary projects”. This way, the main focus (outside of the paid assignments) will always be on one major piece and I can start finishing projects. The unfinished projects are taking up far too much energy. I can’t sell it if it’s not finished, and I can’t disperse my energies in a hundred small directions and expect to get anywhere.
I’ve met some really great people through the NaNo site, and I look forward to doing the work with them in the coming months.
I think The Fix-It Girl will be both fun and has the potential to be a decent sale. I’m going to focus on the point of NaNo – getting the words on the paper. Once the draft is completed, I will have to go back and fact check and do some more research on the period. I’ve done some preliminary research, but nowhere near what I should have – I couldn’t, with the hours spent on set. So, in the second draft, I’ll have to go back and fill in the political and social context and more tangible detail.
My preferred way to write and revise works something like this:
First draft: spill it out as quickly as possible, so that I don’t lose the momentum.
Second draft: overwrite; fill in; explore every possible tangent and see what works.
Third draft: cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut.
Fourth draft : has the cuts in it; this is the draft sent to my Trusted Readers.
Fifth draft: take the notes that feel right and work them in.
Sixth draft: machete time again; cut and tighten.
Seventh draft: final polish and out.
Writing the serials, I could --and was forced to -- compress the process, but the above is the way I prefer to work. That is what results in the best, tightest work.
So I’d better get moving – there are essays and articles to write today, submissions to get out. I have November chosen for Circadian, but I need to set them up so that I can simply upload.
And tonight, Tending The Dead begins (a combination of Celtic ceremonies and the Days of the Dead).
In other words, it’ll be closer to 3 AM than midnight when I start NaNoWriMo.