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Friday, 30 May 2014

Writing Projects - Planning Ahead

'Year of the thesis' is taking its toll. Not just on my sanity (though I am rather worried about that) but also on my writing. When I said I was taking a 'writing break' two months ago part of the reason was that I just didn't want to write any more. I'd lost the spark, it had been smothered under thesis work and personal problems, and I couldn't force it to come back with everything else going on. I'd said I'd see how I felt in the future. Well, I know how I feel now. I want to damn well write. Only problem is that I can't.

The kick I needed was a short story acceptance (I'll tell you about that next week) which gave me some confidence in my writing again. Then I had an epiphany about the first novel I ever completed and has been through four rewrites already. I know what to do with it. Suddenly the writing bug was back.

But - but - but... The thesis is killing me. I need to focus on it and I need to finish it as soon as possible. In addition to that, I'm giving papers at three conferences in the next six weeks and that in itself is causing me some considerable anxiety. There's no time for writing novels to fit into this. I've consoled myself by working on short stories longhand but it's not the same and it's not really what I want to be doing. So I've decided that, if I'm telling myself I can't write, I can at least plan. Then when I can write again, I'll be off like a shot... In theory. So here's the list of how my projects are looking and what planning I can do about them until that luxurious moment I actually get to write them again. These are in order of when they were written:
  1. 'Lily' - This is the one that prompted the epiphany. As I consequence I've been sort of secretly working on a plan for the sixth draft which I finished the night before last. It details the major changes in each scene and, of course, there will be many minor ones too. I'm raring to go on this one.
  2. 'Danni' - I'm actually happiest with this novel. I finished the fifth draft earlier this year and I don't think there's major work to be done, just tweaks. So this is the one I want to submit (and I know where to) once this pesky PhD is done with.
  3. 'Liz' - I stopped working on the second draft of this in March when I was about a third into the rewrite and thesis work started to take over. The good thing is, I've also got a scene-by-scene breakdown of changes written for this. Just a case of implementing them. 
  4. 'Lauren' - I mentioned back in January that I've changed so much with this that the second draft is essentially another first one. And, to be honest, the draft's nearly there. I've got two of the six sections left to complete and one of them is completely planned out. So I just need to plan the last section to get that ready for work.
  5. 'Max' - There are massive changes to be made to this first draft, including switching from one POV to two and doing some serious characterisation work on the two protagonists. That all needs to be planned out. 
  6. 'Vic' - There are changes to be made to back story on this first draft and more characterisation work to be done. I can plan that out. 
  7. 'Izzy' - This first draft needs major change and I need to work out what those changes are going to be. I've started some protagonist characterisation work so I need to finish that then plan the new progression I guess. 
  8. 'Carys' - My most recent NaNoWriMo success obviously needs major work. I have no idea what form this is going to take so I need to think about that.
  9. 'Kathy' - This unfinished draft needs rewriting from third to first person and then planned from there to the end. That's doable. 
So there we go. There's a lot of planning I can get my teeth stuck into there, as long as I resist the temptation to actually write the drafts. Hopefully by the time I'm finally allowed to indulge, I'll be chomping at the bit. Though when that may be...who knows? 

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