Let’s just ignore the fact that I’ve been working on it since 2004 – granted with a few other projects sprinkled in there – and say that today I think draft #34 is going well!
This winter I undertook a complete restructuring and delved deeper into what makes its main characters tick. I’ve eliminated an overabundance of flashback and reflective material, and there’s less back and forth in points of view.
I’m not usually an outline writer, but at this point I have three outlines guiding the current rewrite.
One, a single page with just a sentence or two about each of six parts, serves as a reminder of the narrative purpose of each part.
Another, a two-page, chapter-by-chapter listing of main events, is a helpful overview reference.
A third, long-form outline is a long messy thing that includes notes about what each chapter will be about, snippets of writing from previous drafts that might be relevant, and thoughts that occur to me as I’m writing one scene that I won’t remember by the time I get where those thoughts will be helpful.
As always with a major rewrite, there has been much new writing, with new writing’s attendant struggles and surprises, as well as much letting go of favourite passages from previous drafts. I’m about half way through Part Four (of six) of the current rewrite. I’m looking forward to getting to the end of Part Six, so I can again read through the whole, to see where the efforts of this winter, spring, and (by then) summer have succeeded and where they have fallen short.
How about you? How’s your novel going? What’s helping you get it where you want it to be?