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Monday, 10 December 2012

In Which I Discuss All My Major Writing Projects...

It occurred to me yesterday how much better I've become at completing drafts. I remember when I first started my MA we were asked what we particularly wanted to get out of the course - my answer was to finish something. Of course, an MA isn't the best place to do that (I have two unfinished projects from that year) but it provided some of the tools and my stubbornness provided the rest. My first complete manuscript actually came from my first NaNoWriMo. That idea of fighting with myself (and a certain friend, she knows who she is) was the push I needed. But since then I've morphed into a writer who likes to damn well complete first drafts when I've got them off the ground. The problem now is that I have a stack of things to redraft and precious little time to do it in.

Here's a list of my current projects that I consider 'off the ground'. There are countless others that are languishing on the top shelf of my musicals DVD bookcase glaring at me every time I want to watch The Wizard of Oz or Funny Face but we'll continue ignoring them for now or my brain really will melt from overwork. Note: I call all my novels by the name of my protagonist until I can actually come up with titles. I hate titles. That's a rant for another day.

  1. 'Lily' - The most developed of all, this was the novel I wrote and completed for my first NaNoWriMo. Since then it's gone through two and a half further drafts before I aborted the half and started afresh. I'm about 31,000 words into the fourth/fifth draft now. 
  2. 'Danni' - Apparently this has been through four drafts, though I can't remember all that pain. One thing I do know is that I just opened the first draft for a peek and spotted some characters I can't remember. That's a good thing, means I managed to change it beyond recognition but I may be at the point where the first draft will help me plot where I go next. It needs...something. I just to figure out what. The fourth draft came in at around 69,000 words. 
  3. 'Liz' - One first draft finished and I have decent plans for the second. Obviously needs beefing up a little at 55,000 words but this one did start out as a novella so... 
  4. 'Lauren' - Another NaNoWriMo victory, this time from 2011. Had a lightbulb moment about this one very recently (two days ago) so this is definitely ready for work. Again, it needs development at 54,000 words. 
  5. 'Max' - The least said about this one, the better! I didn't want to write it in the first place but I was...compelled. No doubt I'll be compelled to write the second draft too and, unfortunately, I do have some ideas about development. It needs it, coming in at 51,000 on the first draft. 
  6. 'Vic' - My most recent NaNoWriMo victory. Very short at around 51,000 words (again!) but I like this one. Definitely needs work but definitely has potential. 

When I write it out like that it almost looks impressive. Of course, there are still the more major ones that got away. 'Rosie', my first MA project, got me my highest MA mark and the first few chapters comprised of about 10,000 words. I keep meaning to go back to that and I do have a full plan. However, not the time! My second MA project, 'Freya', was the piece I used for my dissertation and is around 19,000 words long at the moment. It's a bit of a departure for me, a fantasy novel of sorts. But I have it on decent authority that it worked so I really should go back to it. A little something out of the ordinary is good for the muse - or so I just made up. 'Mervyn' is something that's been hanging around me for a few years in various forms but so far I've only got it up to 4,000 words. It deserves more and I swear I'll get back to it...some day. 

So much to do and so little time. It's probably not surprising that juggling this heap of stuff with my PhD sometimes gets a little overwhelming. But maybe that's the fun of it. I like to be challenged, at least in this way. However, I wouldn't say no to a few weeks off! I'm melting...

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