I set the rather auspicious goal of completing a totally new manuscript over winter break, which was about two weeks.
I didn’t start from scratch- I had a solid outline I’d been tweaking off and on for a few months and a few thousand words. I figured if I had first mess of a draft done and just powered through and kept writing, I’d be ready for high-level rewrites and edits in time for my workshop, which starts in February. That workshop is really good for knocking those last few plot points into perfect order.
I did it! It’s short- just around 57,000 words. I even got in that first read-through for glaring inconsistencies. All of that and I lost two days to a cold. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty proud.
The good news: I still like the story! The last few times I’ve completed a manuscript, by the time it was over I wanted nothing to do with it. This time I was motivated to do a read-through, and still liked it.
The bad news: it definitely needs something, but I can’t put my finger on what.
So here are my goals for this new work in progress:
-Stick it in a drawer, per Stephen King’s advice. I’m too close to the project and I suspect that’s why I can’t see the forest for the trees. I’ll do another read-through in time for the start of my workshop, which begins mid-February.
-Send it to a sensitivity reader. It needs it. Themes of homosexuality, sexism, disability, racial inequality and religious discrimination are all explored. I identify and have been impacted by none of those things (except sexism) so I definitely need an “own voices” point of view.
-Get plot feedback from the workshop. I’m already anticipating some of the notes I’m going to get, which is probably good. I think I’ll be able to circle more after a little bit of time and distance.
In the mean time, I have a goal to write every day for an hour. Since I’m sticking my manuscript in a drawer, today that means blogging. It might mean blogging tomorrow too, who knows. I don’t know if I want to start another manuscript right now- there’s a whole different brain space when it comes to writing as opposed to revising and editing.
What are your 2019 writing goals?