After a long slump during the pandemic, I am working on Fifty-Five Days again. This rewrite has been difficult, but over the weekend I finished the new chapter I was stuck on for two months. (It stinks, but it’s done. There’s definitely at least one more drafting cycle coming before anyone but me sees this book in its entirety.)
I already know I respond productively to externally imposed structure–I’ve won all six NaNo events I’ve participated in since I started this blog, as well as twice before under a different name–so with Camp NaNo coming in July, this seemed like the right time to capitalize on someone else “making” me do something in order to keep myself motivated.
My plan: between now and July, keep working on the rewrite. I’ve got three chapters left of the first draft to work through, but I’m expanding the ending to cover what I breezed past originally (this ALWAYS happens to me with first drafts) so it may be as many as five or six more chapters between me and the end of the story.
For Camp: finish rewriting whatever I have left to do, then immediately start over with a line-editing/polishing draft. I know the conventional wisdom is to set a draft aside for a while before starting the next one, but I just took a nearly-three-month break from this, and I’ve had time to ponder what I still know is wrong with the story even if I didn’t finish this draft before the break. I feel ready to work again, and NaNo has always been an excellent motivator for me. The word count goal is still 50K words, which is not the entire draft, but I don’t want to set it higher because line editing is picky, delicate work, especially the way my process has grown over the years. Will it be faster than a full rewrite? Oh, lordy, I hope so. Will I get the entire draft done in a month? Probably not.
If any of you folks are participating as well, I’d love to add you to my friends list on the site! As I’m sure will be no surprise to anyone, over there I’m Elena Johansen. Happy writing!