Saturday, July 25, 2015

WIP Marathon July (and June) Update

I didn't post last month, mainly because I was dealing with a major life transition, a lot of stressors, and jet lag. But I've finally reached the point where I'm caught up on sleep and in a good mental headspace.

Last check-in: Working on chapter 38 (word count = 126,742)

Currently:
-Finished the full draft (word count = 134,498)
-Finished my first read-through
-Filled in the holes in some chapters
-Identified some major changes I want to make (11 chapters will need re-writes)

WIP issues and things I learned:

1. I always thought that once I reached the last chapter, there would be a huge adrenaline rush and words would flow onto the page. Didn't happen. It turns out the last chapter is just as difficult to write as all the others. It took me forever just to get through the first three paragraphs.

2. Word count is no longer a priority. Right now, I just want to get the novel into a state where it feels complete.

Distractions:

I was out of the country for a few weeks in June, but I still got a good amount of writing done that month.

I started clinical rotations four weeks ago. I was on subspecialty rotations this month, so my hours have been very relaxed, but this rotation requires a lot of studying. Also, I spent most of the month feeling tired, depressed, and overwhelmed, so my motivation wasn't high.

Books:

Finished:
Under a Painted Sky - it's good
The Dirty Streets of Heaven - meh

Started:
Pantomime - it's okay

Goals for next month:

Next Monday, I start a difficult sub-rotation. I'm also behind on studying, so that will take up a lot of my time.

I still have some holes to fill out in the later chapters before they're ready to be sent out. I was planning on doing that this weekend. I also want to re-write some of the early chapters and go back to chapter 25.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

VERY VERY IMPORTANT NEWS!

I have finished the first draft! As of this morning, the WIP is now complete at 134,500 words.

I wrote the last scene this morning. We got the day off because our board exam scores were supposed to be sent out, so as soon as I woke up, I started writing. I told myself I wouldn't check my score until I finished the book, but I was still checking email, and you can imagine how jittery I got when the email came at 11 and I was still figuring out what to do with the last few paragraphs. (No, I didn't read it until I was finished.)

I finished the scene about thirty minutes later. I don't think I'm very happy with the scene, but that can be fixed in edits. I still have a long way to go before the book will be polished and complete, but I finally accomplished something that I've been trying to do for 12 years: finish a draft!

I'm meeting a friend for dinner later, during which time we will celebrate my finished draft and my board score.* She is starting her first original novel soon, so she asked me to give her advice.

*I'm really happy with my score.

I guess now is the time to start thinking about edits. I've already thought of some things I want to change, so I guess the next step is reading through the entire draft (!!!) and figuring out how it all works together and what needs to be cut. There were also some scenes that didn't get fully written, so that's something else I have to do.
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