Monday, April 4, 2011

6-AM Editing Challenge: Week 1 Recap

What's the 6-AM Editing Challenge? You can read the backstory here, but in a nutshell, it's me getting up at 6-AM every morning and writing, in an attempt to finish edits on my novel, MIRRORPASS, by this summer. Read about my novel on the WIP page.

First off, my apologies for the radio silence. I have the best excuse ever: I was writing. And although I know silence is always suggestive of a fail, in this case, it was actually the result of success.

By Thursday, I was so caught up in either writing or homework that I didn't have time to blog about it. But here's how it went down:

THURSDAY, MARCH 31 -- In my notes I have "wrote 600 words and did some editing to boot." Those were 600 more words on my chapter 18 merger scene, and the edits went back to chapters 14-16 where I was either planting or uprooting tiny plot threads so that my merger scene would flow better. I essentially finished the merger scene that day.

FRIDAY, APRIL 1 -- I finished my novel!

April Fools!

Okay, sorry, bad joke. What actually happened is that homework consumed my morning and I didn't get to writing until the evening. I was dying for a nice long stretch of time when I could sit down and iron out all the pacing and continuity issues I hadn't been able to see in those short 6-AM Challenge bursts. My goal was to rewrite the merger scene, and then write the follow-up scene, which held a lot of necessary dialogue and hammering out of motivations.

I started in chapter 16, planning to read up and through into 18 and iron out all the issues along the way, but then I found myself doing a major overhaul of chapter 16 and then a rewrite of the intro to the merger scene. That's when I had the best surprise of the day--I discovered that I had clarified things so well in chapter 16, that my merger scene could be cut in half, and I didn't need to spend an extra 2,000 words on a scene to try and work it out in dialogue.

That was an exciting moment because with the merger scene done, chapter 18 itself was done.

Yes. I met one of my goals. If you remember, I had three--to begin and finish chapter 18, to rewrite chapter 10, and to edit chapter 17. I also met a bunch of other goals that I discovered along the way.

In the larger scale of things, this means I need to edit chapter 17 and piece together chapter 19, after which I will be done with this sequence--and able to move on to my pre-climax sequence.

That. Is so. Exciting.

So all in all, at the end of the week and the beginning of a new one, I'm declaring my 6-AM Challenge a success.

Where to from here? I'd hoped that if I could make it a week, I could make it a month, so that's my next milestone. For the month of April I will post once- to twice a week on my goals, problems, hangups, daily progress, etc.

And I'd like to invite you to join me. (I don't expect many will but hey, the invitation is out there.) Is there a writing project you can't finish, or start? How about a deadline you've been avoiding? A goal that eludes you? I want to hear about it, I want your company--I want someone to share this crazy editing challenge with.

And for those of you who can't join but just enjoy reading, is there anything else you'd like me to add or explain better in my updates? Do you care which chapter I'm working on? Would it be better if I talked about the craft issues behind the problem that I'm editing?

Because yes, I'm blogging about this for support, but I'm always sharing in the hopes of inspiring or helping you.

Truly and always,
-Creative A


April said...

I take your challenge! I have two goals this month - to start submissions on JUSTIFIED and to start finish researching/start writing my current idea. Which will take a lot because there's a lot I need to straighten out in the story before I can begin to write.

Yay!!! Goals!!! (And congrats on you meeting yours! Each time I hit a goal, I know I get on this writer's high that is INSANE!)

Chandler Craig said...

I work SO much better in the mornings. And I've had to remind myself of that again because I always get to thinking I can be a night owl...the go to sleep at 10.

Anyway, I am revising a LOT this weekend! And I'm also drafting/revising another book. So busy busy busy...I should definitely get up with you and at least write for an hour. I think I will. Challenge accepted!

Creative A said...

April--glad to have you join me! I commented on your blog :)

Creative A said...

Chandler--Ha, you made me laugh. I'm so excited that you're going to try and join me! The toughest part for me has been going to bed at a decent time. But if you always crash at 10, then you've got 50% of it down anyway! Really though, I've found myself so much more calm and able to enjoy things on the challenge.

Good luck,

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mandy! I'm so glad to hear about the progress you're making, and I wish you all the luck for the continueing month. :)
I have no particular project I'm working on, but I am trying to be up by seven, for daily devotions, if nothing else.

As always, wishing you all the very best,

Chandler Craig said...

See?? See?? I'm up!

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