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Monday, 24 June 2013

Breaking a Golden Rule

For a few years now I've had a rule that I've tried to stick to: finish one first draft before I start another. I know from a couple of projects I've abandoned (though, technically, they're just there waiting to be finished) that I can't get involved again easily. Once I step away from the characters mid-first draft it proves tricky to ingratiate myself with them again. But I'm preparing to break that rule today. I do have reasons though - if that makes it any better.

I'm away from home at the moment with nothing but my laptop and my brain. My plan was to work on the second draft of 'Liz' (see here) but I've done a fair few thousand then stopped. It's a mixture of things. First off, as I mentioned on Friday, I'm using this novel to get to grips with Scrivener. That's not a terrible thing in itself but I am finding that working without the notebook in which I wrote detailed notes on the alterations that needed to occur within every scene is very difficult. I don't think I'm prepared to work on it now only to have to iron out the creases once more when I get home.

Okay, so I've struck that second draft off the list of things to do. However, I'm still in the middle of a first draft of another story ('Izzy') so why don't I just continue with that? It's sitting comfortably at just over 32,000 words but, again, there are aspects to the story I've got written down at home and I don't want to wing it at this point because I'd added logic to the plot progression. That doesn't always happen in my first drafts so I want to make the most of it. (Incidentally, the progression to this one was not written in a nice notebook; it was scrawled on a scrap piece of paper while in Costa so I hope it doesn't go a'wandering.) Aside from the notes issue, I'm not sure I can access that protagonist in my brain at the moment. She's, erm, potent and requires my full attention. But my attention has been drawn elsewhere.

A while ago now I got another idea that I made a brief note about and aimed to return to in about August or whenever I finished 'Izzy'. But having no real ability to continue with 'Liz' or 'Izzy' at the moment I turned my mind back to it yesterday. The initial situation has taken hold. I have no idea what happens after the second chapter but that's how I like it. Me and Kathy and ready to go...

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