Monday, 10 August 2015


Countdown to deadline – three weeks to go!

Very quick post this week. If you're not familiar with this blog, I'm sharing the experience of writing my third novel. It's been a challenge! I submitted a dreadful first draft in January, so bad it barely counted as a first draft – more a zero draft. I'm much happier with what I'm doing now, although with just three weeks to go, I'm too close to it to really be objective, so we'll see!

I'm setting myself targets each week, so looking back at last week's post, this is the goal I set myself:

My goal for next week is to have sorted out the order of the chapters and to have a draft, even if it's rough, of the penultimate chapter. 

So how did I do? Well, I did sort out the chapter order so that we now dip into the past a little sooner. Also, I've split some of the longer chapters into two and done a great deal of cutting and trimming, which is gradually tightening things up. I've started drafting that penultimate chapter, but haven't completed the draft yet.

I've done most of the bigger changes now and am well under way with the line by line editing – the tweaking and twiddling. I use Scrivener, and the corkboard has a wonderful feature which allows you to label each little 'card' to show what stage it's at. As of this morning, 33 of my 42 cards are labelled 'revised draft', seven are still 'first draft', and two are still labelled 'to do' (as in, they've not yet been drafted).

So, all in all, progress is good. I do still have those last two (maybe even three) chapters to write, though. The ending is important to get right (obviously!) So I want to give it a bit more thought. I'm going to carry on with editing the remaining seven chapters now, and I'm hoping I can get that done in the next couple of days, because on Thursday, I'm off on a writing retreat details here  and I really want to spend that time working on the ending. I'll have four clear days to focus entirely on the novel, so although the blog post will be a day late next week – I intend to publish on Tuesday – by that time I should be almost there.

So, my goal for next week: edit seven chapters, draft final two (or three) chapters.

After that, when I have two weeks ago, I'll need to read through the whole thing again, and then revise those last few chapters.

See you next week!

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  1. Phew - this feels like the end of this draft is in sight!! Do you have celebrations lined up?

    1. Yes, feels like it is! I expect something fizzy and alcoholic will be consumed once it's been sent off. And then I wait for the feedback...

  2. I'm enjoying these updates on your drafting progress. I've been wondering about Scrivener - how useful have you found it?

    1. So glad you're enjoying these posts! I've found Scrivener incredibly useful – beginning to wonder how I ever managed without it. I did find it difficult to setup, though, but I am what they call 'technologically challenged'. Got my other half to set it up and then I was fine, although I'm sure I only use a small percentage of its capabilities. I'd really recommend it – it makes moving things around much easier, and also enables you to see what's going on in the whole novel at a glance. it's very cheap, too. Let me know how you get on!

  3. That's really helpful - thank you.