As I was revising MS:T this week, I was confronted with a weakness in my process that I really want to work on this year. It’s a problem that I think stems from either a lack of defined ‘this is what I plan digitally vs. paper’, or ‘this is the plan I follow step by step for every writing project’, or some other third thing.
When I was revising this week, I found a chapter that had an element to the story that I had not woven into the previous part of the manuscript. I had introduced a character without giving context to why he was there. The clue he gives my main character in this piece of the story to let her know he could be trusted, I hadn’t given any context for the readers to understand beforehand. It made me realize that the way they were going to effect the story and the other characters was not well defined or well plotted enough for him to be what he needed to be in the draft. I know if I revisit my process, I can make this situation happen much more infrequently.
I know the first step is to decide what parts of my process I do digitally and what parts I do on paper. Timelines, character sheets, and family trees are hugely helpful to me. At one point a few years ago I had started to put together a set of worksheets and templates of ‘starting a novel’ document. I’m going to dig those up this week and then put it on my goals to work on next month so when I begin my next plotting/writing/revision project, I’ll have my tools locked in. This week I had a hard time getting through the writing of MS:T. I’m heavily into the last of act two about to be launched into act three and trying to get that writing done while going through my normal day (laptop on the dining table, popping in and out of my document as the time of day allows) is more challenging. I’m thinking it’s going to take a few late night writing marathons this week to finish the draft by Friday. Also, I realized this week that I wish I had tracked how many new words I’ve written this month. It’s something to keep it in mind before I jump into my next manuscript. For this week, I’ve got to push through to finish the last ten chapters of MS:T. It’s so close to being done!
Remember, you are more than enough. If you have the chance, let someone else know. They might need the reminder.