Yeah, I’m calling it. Time of death is 22,974 words.
I’m going to set This Novel Will Fail (whose secret title is Hypernode) aside for a while, work on Derelict, play some Skyrim, do some reading, sleep, that kind of thing.
So, where to from here? Well, Derelict’s deadline for Draft 3 is December 20, so that’s what I’ll be working on this month. In its current state it’s pared down to not much more than an outline with a few scenes slotted in; yWriter says I need to average about 4k words a day from here forth to hit the word goal, but of course a lot of that is already written and waiting to be slotted in. There will need to be some new scenes drafted – quite a few, actually, as the focus of the book is changing a bit from previous drafts – and a lot of connecting bits still need to be written. After that I’ll be working on Draft 4 from (hopefully) Dec 21 to Feb 20, which is going to be cleanup; there will be a lot of rewriting scenes, fixing the kinds of continuity errors that crop up when you write a book over the course of several years and change the plot direction numerous times. Plus a lot of the current scenes will need to be cleaned up because they’re just not that good, and I left fixing them for a later draft.
I have come to think of first drafts* as the notes from which I will actually write the book. First drafts of stories are very rough for me. I don’t write linearly, so I end up with scenes scattered all over the book, and I’ll write scenes just to see whether they work or not. Then I’ll leave them in the draft, tucked away in the corners, for me to step in later when I’m revising. yWriter’s strength is also its weakness here; its design makes it very easy to write lots of little scenes and squirrel them away in your book, but it’s not as good for taking a section that needs to be complete and just writing through it. What I really want is a way to view and edit multiple scenes or chapters in one editor so that I get the flow as I’m reading through it – like a traditional word processor. I finish reading one scene and instead of breaking myself out to click on to the next one, I just keep reading, fixing things as I go. I can do this by exporting and working in another word processor, of course, but re-importing to yWriter was . . . messy, the last time I tried it. Probably what will happen is, at the end of draft 3, I will export into something like RTF or ODT, and then I’ll do most of the work for draft 4 in OpenOffice. Note that this isn’t necessarily a complaint – yWriter is amazing in a lot of ways, it’s just that it doesn’t happen to be a traditional word processor in addition to a nontraditional word processor. There’s a limit to how much I’m allowed to complain about that, and I think I’ve reached it.
*And make no mistake, with the changes I’ve made, Draft 3 is a new first draft of Derelict. Not the first first draft, but a first draft.
Current music: Same station as yesterday. Still really good. I think it’s time I make a new main Pandora station, where I’m pickier about how much I have to like something to thumbs-up it.