Back in January, I decided that this was the year I was going to get serious about writing, so I set myself monthly writing goals to track and increase my progress on my fantasy novel The Secrets The Dead Keep.
June’s goal was to outline Book Two while continuing edits with critique partners. Discuss Book Two outline with critique partners (CPs).
So. How did I do?
Well, to be completely honest… I totally and utterly failed.
Okay, so maybe not totally and utterly. I did collate the feedback I’ve gotten so far and the edits that should be done with regards to that feedback, however I haven’t gotten enough feedback from enough people yet to actually start editing.
After all, there’s no point editing now, taking into account the feedback I currently have, when I’m soon to get more feedback on the unedited draft. I’d have to work out which feedback still applies to it now that it’s been edited and which bits I’ve already addressed, and then edit it again. It just seems much easier and much more efficient to wait until I have all my feedback in before I start editing.
But of course, there are also parts of this goal which didn’t rely on other people having time to read my book. So how did I do on those parts?
The short answer is: not as well as I’d have liked.
The long answer is: I have expanded my plan for the sequel to The Secrets The Dead Keep, and finally managed to sort out what will happen in the middle of the story! The middle, I find, is always difficult; I often have a good idea of the premise, and how I want it to end, but the middle usually involves “stuff happens but I don’t know what”. It can either get quite muddled and confusing, or it can just be a blank space with a huge question mark over it, so it’s certainly a relief to know that I’ve filled that in now.
I’ve also started writing a scene-by-scene outline, which has actually brought to light a few plot-holes. But I’d much rather find plot-holes now, when I can fix them pretty easily with just half an hour of moving scenes around and changing their descriptions to match their new place in the chronology, than find them after or during the writing of the first draft – by that point, I don’t just have scene descriptions to change, I have whole chunks of writing which could be over 4,000 words long to change.
However, I wanted to get this scene-by-scene outline finished before the end of June, so that I could start writing in July, for Camp NaNoWriMo. Alas, that has not occurred. I actually only just started writing the outline on the last day of June, so I haven’t started Camp NaNo yet.
Not-finishing-my-outline does not mean that I can’t discuss my sequel ideas with critique partners, though. So I have no excuse for not doing that, really. Except that I can’t discuss these ideas with multiple critique partners because only one of them has finished reading Book One. And both me and that one critique partner are busy.
So, to move on from this month’s failures, what are my goals for July?
To write the first 50,000 words of Book Two during Camp NaNoWriMo, and to continue editing with critique partners.
This one is an ambitious one. Writing an outline then a first draft while also actively editing another book? We’ll have to see about that. Plus, the critique partner thing is once again relying on others, so there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to do it.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t try!
How are your writing projects going? Let me know in the comments!