Friday, November 7, 2008

Timeline of a Work in Progress

I never realized I was so busy. But dang. I just can't seem to get anything completed lately between one thing and another.

Anyway, one of the things that have been slowing me down is revising my first chapter of my work in progress. I think, maybe, I might possibly be done with the first chapter. But that opens me up to more work instead of less. Because as I get my first chapter close to done, I've made changes--in voice, in character attitude--that will effect everything else and means (another) rewrite.

So I wanted to look at how much time I've done with this WIP. I've never thought to do this before--but it was kind of interesting.

  • First idea for novel (original first pages written—during Christmas break): Dec. 30, 2007
  • First started really writing: March 18, 2008 (after completing National Board process)
  • Completed first draft: June (before going on trip to Europe)
  • First read-through/rough revisions: July 10-Aug. 1
  • Second read-through/revisions: Aug. 8-Aug 26 (beginning of new school year)
  • First feedback from someone not related to me: September 7
  • Complete rewrite began: Sept. 22
  • Scrapped first rewrite and started rewriting over: Oct. 13

So, the process has been almost a year--but, as noted, there have been quite a few interruptions (completing National Board process, which is like getting a degree; leading a group of kids to Europe; start of new school year), and most major things started around breaks.

It seems like a long time, and a short time. I had not realized that I first started with the idea in December of last year--but I do remember having written 5 or 10 pages, and then dropping it for months (I do that all the time--if I keep writing after the first chapter or so, then I keep working on the book). More than anything else, this motivates me to work harder and faster, and quit being so complacent about revisions!
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