Six days, 445 pages. About 70 pages per day, plus a few more today, and I’m finished with my reread of the Fugitives from Earth manuscript. It was a revolutionary experience, I daresay.
Okay, I’ve been caught in this trap before. I’ll try a new method of working, go gaga over it, and then end up trapped by my own expectations. That’s what happened with my new “extreme outlining” strategy; I’d spend all this time working on a plan, only to end up having my creativity stifled because of it.
This time, though, I think that I’ve made a more basic discovery. There’s nothing crazy or radical about it, except that it goes against my own habits. It turns out that by reading my manuscript as I’m writing, it becomes a lot easier to tie the various plotlines together and create a more complete novel.
Not for the first time, I find myself going against the NaNoWriMo model. You’re not supposed to read your own work when doing NaNo, because the temptation to go back and edit is, for new writers at least, often fatal. However, the “charge forward no matter what” idea assumes that you’re going to lack either the discipline or the time to write ahead and go back. As an aspiring professional, however, I’m trying very hard to develop that discipline, and with my work situation right now, I most definitely have the time.
Of course, all this applies mostly to early drafts, and it’s going to be awhile before I start working on one of those again. Right now, I’m just thrilled that my story isn’t as broken as I thought it was. Between my in-line notes and my 500-word daily summaries, I’ve got the materials to make it a downright good story. I don’t think that it’d knock any editor’s socks off, but it should at least be good enough, or fun enough, for someone to enjoy reading.
The next step, of course, is to start on the actual revision. I would really love to get it all done in just a couple of weeks. I’m not sure how realistic that is, but with my upcoming deadline, if I get the beta copy out to the readers any later than mid-June or so, I’m going to be in a serious time crunch. So, time to burn the midnight oil, I suppose. That’s what the life of a professional writer is all about.