And a mere, what, three hours later, I feel so much ridiculously better.
These chapters are blazing past. I’ve been averaging one per hour, which is pretty dope, and my new strategy re taking notes – and I am taking notes – is to list what happens but also to point out what I want to change, in separate sections both under the heading of the chapter name I’m referring to. So I’m kind of doing both of the synopses I wanted to do initially at the same time, plus restricting myself to summarising, plus letting myself say what I want to happen, or how I could shift things around to have things make more sense or flow more smoothly.
In other words: I think that this is actually the plan for draft 2.
And if so, it’s so incredibly simple, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before – just goes to show that sometimes it takes hitting your head against a brick wall to realise that maybe you should be doing something else. I mean I’m buzzing right now; I’m enjoying reading the manuscript, and just kind of glazing over the stuff I don’t like in preference for thinking of what I’d want to be there, and assuming that this is how draft 2 is going to go. I’m assuming a lot here, I realise, but it feels right. At least now. And really that’s all I have to go on. I’m even managing to keep my summaries pretty concise, given everything I want them to do for me functionally, to simultaneously be ‘as is’ records of what I’ve written and a list of suggestions for how things could be improved. And I think it’s working. I’m trying to make notes of little things that I particularly like and want to keep, as well as the ideas I have for how to change things (just by using what I’ve got in the manuscript), and anything I don’t want to keep I’m just not writing down, and letting go.
I think after I’ve finished this second, ‘gentler’ read-through I’ll go back and look at beta feedback again, compile that master list of feedback and see where people agree and disagree, both with each other and with me, and then these will be my two comparative documents upon which I base the foundation for draft 2. It sounds like as good a plan as any, and quite an awful lot better than the one I had not three hours ago.
I don’t like the whole ‘no pain no gain’ attitude, but I will happily concede that sometimes you can gain something from pain. I wouldn’t say that it’s needed as a rule, though. That just encourages masochism, and that’s all kinds of maladaptive. Not a fan.
I’m a fan of this, though. Of letting go, and of keeping going. Of making notes.
Basically, I’m a fan of learning. Hard to go wrong with that one.