This is probably of no interest to anyone besides me, but I’d like to document where I’m at on this first round of revisions of my YA (a contemporary realistic story I fast-drafted four years ago). Consider this a public reckoning of the project and my process.
1) I’m trying to write 1000 words per day but lately am not always succeeding, and the obstacles are varied yet predictable (I waste time; I psych myself out; I suffer crippling doubt; rinse; repeat). On those days when I produce fewer than 1000 words, I try very hard to give myself credit for showing up.
A supportive stranger from MorgueFile
2) I’m using Scrivener and while I’m utilizing only a fraction of the program’s capabilities, I think it’s a great tool. I’ve saved images in the project file (thank you to the lovely Amy Butler Greenfield for telling me about Flickr Creative Commons) and use a split screen so I can refer to the image as I write; I’m using the Project Target so I can track my word count (which is extremely helpful because it helps me talk myself past the finish line); I have a folder with Touchpoints with my one-sentence pitch, character motivation, and plot point, emotional point, etc to keep me on track; I’m breaking down/writing the manuscript one scene at a time, and like being able to organize it that way.
Scrivener = toolbox in garage containing many mystery tools.
3) This revision is not so much a rewrite as it is a write; much of what I wrote before is not useful in terms of the plot (there’s plenty to scavenge for characterization, detail, etc), so I’m essentially writing another first draft in places. However, the writing doesn’t have that “just get the words down” feel to it, and is more deliberate and focused. I hope.
4) For the first time EVER in the history of me writing novels, I’m considering listening to music while I write. There’s a singer/songwriter I greatly admire (RA) who feels like a good fit for my narrator, yet I can’t bring myself to do it. I’ve always, always been about the lyrics and I don’t understand how writers write while listening to words someone else wrote. Still, how silly that I don’t just give it a try, right?
She’s back! And this time she’s saying “Hush”
5) There are days when I feel like a warrior just for showing up. And there are days I feel like someone who can’t take a hint. I’m 50 years old, I’ve had three different agents I landed with three different manuscripts, none of those books sold and yet here I am writing another. What is that saying about insanity . . .?