At the beginning of the year, I set myself monthly writing goals for working on my novel The Secrets The Dead Keep, which should hopefully leave me with a finished manuscript by the end of the year.
My writing goal for March was to finish Draft Three edits. Leftover from previous goals, I also wanted to work on characterisation more, and start finding critique partners.
I started the month with eleven pages’ worth of edits I wanted to make. I quickly realised, however, that many of them were unnecessary or two detailed for what is still an early draft, since I haven’t finalised my plot yet. So, I made a new list, which I am very happy to say was only a page long. It included ten new scenes to write, plus six to revise due to plot changes, and five to edit if I got chance.
One page of edits makes it sound like March was an easy month. Unfortunately, nothing is ever as easy as you think it’ll be.
To those ten new scenes, I added another three, and of those thirteen new scenes to write, I wrote eight and a bit of them. Of the six scenes to revise, I got three done, and of the five scenes to edit, I also got three done. So, although I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, I definitely made good progress – especially when you consider that I also made some changes that I forgot to note down on my list!
I also spent time reordering scenes, which meant also adding extra chapters. I’m hoping that the chapter boundaries now make more sense and flow better. However, this did confuse my list a bit, as I’d labelled some of the scenes by chapters before I’d started messing with the contents of each chapter, which has left it unclear in some cases which scenes I’d originally wanted to edit!
As for finding critique partners, I did post in a forum intended to help match critique partners, but I’ve been reluctant to do any more than that as, with the third draft still unfinished, I don’t feel ready to share my work with others yet. I’m not even sure I’ll feel ready when the third draft is finished! But I do feel like I need an outside opinion, and the sooner the better – there’s no point perfecting everything only to have someone discover a huge, gaping plothole that I have to rewrite half the book to correct!
When I wrote my goals back in January, I also intended to get a copy of my book printed at the end of March, presumably once I’d finished my revisions. But I’ve made so many changes to this draft that I no longer consider it the same draft, and I think it would be pretty cool to have a printed copy of every draft of my book. So, as well as getting Draft Three printed when I finish it, I’m also getting Draft Two, which I finished back in December, printed too!
Now, to move on to my goals for April, which was originally to start brainstorming ideas for the rest of the series, with the aim of deciding the length of the series (trilogy/duology/etc) and the major events of each book.
This very much seems like a bit of a filler goal, as it isn’t furthering the book that I’m currently working on – and that’s because it is a bit of a filler goal. Some of my goals are pretty ambitious (such as being able to finish another draft in only two months), so I planned some time to do something a little less demanding to give me time to catch up with things like finishing the third draft and finding critique partners.
In other news, April is Camp NaNoWriMo, which, for those who don’t know, is an online challenge to write a novel in a month (but in the spring/summer rather than the customary November). Both at university and at school, April has never been a good month for writing for me, so I don’t think I’ve ever taken part in an April Camp NaNo before. But since I’m taking a break from studying this April, it’s perfect. I do have an idea for a completely new project which I’d like to start, but I haven’t planned it enough yet, so I’ll also be counting any new scenes I write for The Secrets The Dead Keep in my Camp NaNo project. For now, I’ve set my target as 10,000 words, but I might increase it later; I’m not taking this too seriously, I just want to see how far I can get.
How’re your writing projects going? Let me know in the comments!
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