Wednesday, April 28, 2010

(Work-in-) Progress Report: Bob

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 63,000
Status: Working through chapter-by-chapter edits
Attitude: Totally psyched

Which means I’m STILL totally psyched about this project, and that (sort of) surprises me. I’ve been working on this book for seven months now (eight, if you count the month I spent on the outline), which is about how long I worked on both of my previous manuscripts, outline to query. (Yeah, I haven’t used beta readers in the past. I know. How silly of me.) But I can honestly say Bob is still months away, MONTHS away, from being query-ready. And I’m okay with that.

As for what I’ve been doing since my last (work-in-) progress report, I can sum that up pretty easily: Writing a revision outline. Panicking. Adding a new chapter and some extra scenes. Starting on these chapter-by-chapter edits.

I fully intended to apply the Natalie Whipple Approach to Revising, which involves making the biggest changes first (usually the plot changes), and then the next biggest, and then the next, until you’re down to line-editing the prose. And I sort of did. But then I realized I was using the Approach as an excuse to avoid digging down into the edits and decided to improvise:)

I just work better sequentially, I guess. So I made the biggest changes, and now I’m taking care of everything else on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Tweaking the characterization, adding details, smoothing out the awkwardness. I’m 13,000 words through this pass, and then I plan to give it one last read-through before I send it off to beta readers. (Probably an out-loud read-through--I hope my two-year-old doesn’t think I’ve gone insane…) But I’m getting through it. And I’m totally psyched.

Well, that’s where I am. So where are you?

P.S. Check out Adam Heine’s contest. To celebrate the publication of his short story, “Pawn’s Gambit,” he’s giving away a book. My favorite part? You don’t have to be a follower to enter. The contest closes on May 6, so you have about a week. See you over there!


Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I love having a direction to go with my WiP. Even if it's just revisions. (What do I mean, just revisions. It's never *just* revisions.) good luck with it.

Pam Harris said...

After getting rejections on a few partials, I figure it's time for me to dive back in and change some things around in the beginning. I'm talking major plot points and raising the stakes. I've been making minor changes for each chapter, but I think I also like the approach of starting off with the major issues first. :)

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Revisions revisions...I hope they end someday.

What I started with first was having a friend edit my book for me (she has experience). Then I realized she was just being 'nice' =) and I sent my book out to several teens and adults to test read, did some 'tick' edits, had beta readers, etc etc.

That's when I realized I needed to read some serious revision books. From these I made a list of things to check for in my MS. (See my blog). I am currently going through my millionth revision process, but things are looking good. I love the learning process. There are so many things I have forgotten from English classes ages ago. But the books really did help...and now more beta readers! =) Hopefully this process will be done soon. (now I just need to figure out my first chapter!)

Krista V. said...

Thanks, Kayeleen.

Pam, good luck with your revisions. And good luck with that querying!

Kathryn, nice list. And yeah, that first chapter can be the trickiest. Figuring out the perfect moment at which to start your story takes a bit of thinking.

Myrna Foster said...

I'm so happy that your revisions are going well.

I can't believe how quickly this third draft is going. I know I'm going to have to revise more drafts and make major changes and all of that, but you know - right now - I'm having fun with it.

Thanks for checking out Adam's story!

MBW aka Olleymae said...

Wow, that's awesome that you're excited about your revisions.

I have a couple awesome critique partners that keep pushing me along, otherwise I wouldn't want to touch it. It's painful! I don't mind cutting my words, it's the uncertainty of if it will result in a quality product that's driving me insane. lol!!!

Krista V. said...

Myrna, I'm glad your third draft is moving along - and that you're having fun with it. It's so easy to lose sight of the fun, but isn't that the whole reason we write? (Honey Bear always has to remind me, "Your hobby is for you, Krista, not you for your hobby.")

Olleymae, keep pushing! Those critique partners are right. Go, go, go!

Adam Heine said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Krista! So glad you like my contest rules :-)

Good luck with your edits. It's good that you're totally psyched. I can't always maintain that (which is probably why my current novel took me like 2 years to finish).

Krista V. said...

Adam, you're welcome. And thanks for the good-luck vibes:)

(That is, without a doubt, my biggest blog contest peeve: forcing me to become a follower if I want to enter. I mean, I'd much rather you entice me with entertaining and/or useful content than twist my arm to win something.

So all hail to you, Adam Heine of the you-don't-have-to-be-a-follower-to-win-a-book contest. And may the follower gods smile upon you.)

Beth Hull said...

I'm going through chapter-by-chapter now, but procrastinating a lot by playing games on yahoo and reading random blog entries. Found this one, which has gotten me back on track. Thanks.

Krista V. said...

Happy to get you back on track, Beth:) It's a lot of work, and sometimes it seems like the end will never come, but it will if we just make a little progress every day, right?

Good luck with your edits. And thanks for stopping by.