Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Revising Utopia Project, Part XVI

I wrote about my progress on the second draft of the Utopia Project only three weeks ago. Why another post so soon? And not even on a Friday?

Let the numbers explain:

Since last time:
-chapters: 3
-scenes: 11
-words: ~22500

-chapters: 0
-scenes: 0
-words: 0


That's right. After almost two years, I have finished revising TUP.

What have I learned?

Think long-term. I'm writing a series, so I try to keep my characters' long-term trajectories in mind. How will they act/what will they become in later books?

Read back. This is related, and it applies particularly to people who are writing multiple-perspective books like me. Go back and revisit your POV character in previous scenes to get a feel for how far they have come.

Streamline. Unwieldy scenes abounded in what used to be chapter 24. Most got shortened substantially to make more sense.

Writing makes everything better. If you're in a bad mood, writing will ease it. If you're happy because you got first place in drilldown, finishing your second draft will make you yet more pleased.

Fear not theme. I find it distasteful when authors push a theme, but when one emerges organically find ways to emphasize it subtly.


Things I took care of after typing the last words:

1. Repartitioning of chapters.
2. List of corrections to make in third draft.
3. Ideas for events in future books.
4. Backing up my files.


What's next?

Excellent question. I'm a little scared, because when I finished the first draft, I floundered for a while and had a very poor year for writing.

Hopefully with my "write four days a week" system (actually it's been five days a week this summer) I will evade the zero-creative-output zombie apocalypse of freshman year. I have a list of short stories set in GW (the "main" storyline will henceforth be called Unwise Ones) that I want to write, and various other stories that will require research.

Actually, my main goal is now officially learning how to program. But I can do that and maintain writing levels. So. The answer to the question above is "I don't know; let's see what happens."

Apple cider, anyone?

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