It’s April 1st, and we’re now moving into the 2nd quarter of Project 2012. It seems strange to think that only three months of the year have passed because it feels like we’re much further in than that. I thought it was time to check back and see what I should have accomplished, and compare that to what I’ve actually achieved.
So, what was I meant to do?
The first quarter is all about the big picture. You’ll be looking at your story as a whole. This is the phase where you chop entire sections, revisit soggy plot devices and give those wimpy characters some backbone.
- Hook versus climax
- Plot arc
- Character arcs
- Mapping tension
- Voice, tone and language
Worksheets: chapter list, timeline, character journey
I read through my revision novel (TCM), made some notes, did lots of free writing and brain storming about the world, the story and the characters. I even created a new outline for it. There are still chunks of the novel that need more detailing before I can rewrite, but all in all, I’m feeling positive about where it’s at.
Revision: Getting into the nitty gritty of theme, message, tension mapping and beats. Scenes rearranged for maximum impact. All these should be firmed up ready for Quarter 2.
First draft: Plotter: You should be 10,000 words in at least. Pantser: Why aren’t you writing?
I had the benefit of already being in the process of a first draft when the year rolled around, I’m now sitting at 62,000+ words for Sun-Touched and heading towards the end.
While my revision stuff isn’t quite where it’s at, I am hoping to dedicate most of my time to TCM once ST has been finished off. I started reworking the beginning, but it was really odd trying to write in Mel’s voice after spending so much time with Madea. The stories are quite different in ways, though I have noticed some similarities as well.
The 2nd quarter is meant to look something like this:
Second quarter is all about the chapters, zooming in to make sure that each section of your book develops the story, advances the plot and illustrates character development. You’ll be looking at flow and movement and making sure each chapter strengthens the work and moves the story forward. For each chapter you’ll be looking at:
- Hook to climax – chapter
- Rising tension
- Character development
Worksheets: scene list, locations and events, character journey.
I’m hoping to get well into the rewrite in Q2 – am giving myself April to finish off Sun-Touched so that I can really focus on TCM. For a month, anyway, and then I am taking a short break to belt out a new novella. It will be the first thing I’ve written that has been totally outlined from beginning to end before I start the first draft, and I am really interested to see how this might impact on my productivity and the writing itself.
So far this has been a year of growth in regards to my writing. Learning to plot, reforming the writing habit, being flexible and pushing my ideas further. I’m feeling really good about where I am going, even though the “I Suck” fairy still does the rounds here on a regular basis.
If I keep going the way I am, I should have a finished first draft of a novel, a revised novel, a newly written, revised and submitted novella, as well as a second novella in first draft stage. Short stories have been given the boot entirely, for now, though I am still intent on polishing up the few gems I have and finding homes for them.
How is your writing year going so far??