So, this week I’m trying something new….
See, I’ve been my own boss now for four years and my boss…well…she’s kind of lazy. I’ve also held the belief for many years that I am simply not a ‘morning person.’ And my kids – they’re enablers – they let me sleep until nearly 9 am, which is seemingly great, except that lately I’ve been feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. When you get up mid-morning you’ve pretty much blown your pre-noon schedule.
So, this week I decided to whip myself into shape – everyday I went to bed at 11 and got up at 6:30. It was just me, the glow of my monitor and my imagination…until about 7 when M. gets up. (I marched her right back into her room until 8. I’m the meanest mommy ever. Somehow the child just knows that I’m up. Today when I didn’t get up early – I feel a nasty sinus infection coming on; I’m not superhuman, people – I didn’t hear her leave her room at all. Kids have a six sense, I tell you.)
And I have to say, I love having the quiet time to write. Interestingly, I feel like I have even less time to get things done during the day. I don’t know if it’s because I’m going to bed earlier or I’m feeling more productive or what. But I suppose I have to accept that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. We’ll see how I feel about it in a few weeks as the experiment continues.
What have I been writing in my early time, you ask? I’ve been editing actually – the novel I finished at the end of July. Tentatively titled Stole (still not sold on that title), it’s YA science fiction.
I spent the first three days changing one of my characters motivations – she’s not even a viewpoint character. When I’d written the first draft, I hadn’t liked what I’d written about her but I didn’t know how I’d fix it yet – so I decided to leave it like it was until I could come up with something better. And I did come up with something better, which fit perfectly into what I’d already written, so win(!) for me. It still took me awhile to incorporate it but I love it now.
I also made an executive decision concerning my chapter breaks. I have three viewpoints and in a few of my chapters I switched between them mid-chapter. I decided that I wanted only one viewpoint per chapter, so I’ve had to move some things around and rewrite some scenes and add some chapters (currently standing at 46 chapters). I’ve been doing little edits along the way as well: tightening the third person perspective, showing and not telling (sometimes I do both in the same scene), fixing my glaring mistakes. I’ve also been trying to cut, but cutting is…difficult. You do some re-writing and additional world-building and your word count doesn’t go down. I’m currently floating around 89k. And I want the finished product to be about 80k. I still have a lot of work ahead of me.
Let me tell you, I am gaining a new appreciation for my sister, who read through this draft (and still hasn’t given me her notes, ahem).
First drafts are a mess. There are things that happen while you write that you just don’t realize are happening – like extra words and awkward sentences and (in my case) instances where I’ll say things two different ways. It would be hard to read. I would feel compelled to edit it as I read, but you can’t if it’s not your book. You just have to deal with it and move on. Props to my womb buddy for not hating me and thinking I’m a terrible writer. I’m not, I promise.
On a non-writing note, I started reading Brandon Sanderson’s new book Steelheart this week – which is *awesome* so if you haven’t picked it up, you should. It’s about a world where only bad people get super powers.