Building Blocks

Got some more university preparation stuff dealt with today, and I’m still behind on what I wanted to be doing with draft 2 preparation. But that’s okay – I’m just going to go with what worked when I got stuck last time, and do what feels good.

Currently what feels good is to actually just go ahead with making a list of all the changes I want to implement. I think I’ve left myself enough notes to work with, and there’s already a document made for a section of chapters within which I know I want changes to be made. I really do actually want to go back and read the draft again, just to get that feeling of clarity back, but I doubt it would work the same way twice. And even if it did, I think I can remember enough to at least make a list and then compare my changes against the summary I made to see if my ideas all add up.

I just really want to get on with it. I want draft 2 to get underway, and I want it to get underway as soon as possible. Part of that is just because I feel moved to make a list of the changes I’m thinking of, but the other is because I want to have a solid plan for draft 2 before university starts, so that I have as little of an excuse as possible to not follow through with it. I want a schedule. I’ve worked out a bunch of potential timetables for study already, so I want to fit in this draft into that timetable as well. I’m predicting that, assuming I get in, I’ll be more or less living at university for the next year, at least. Who knows what’s going to happen with my writing if I decide to go into postgrad, but one thing at a time. The point is that I don’t want this novel to be washed away by the deluge of tertiary study like my last one was, so the sooner I can get in a solid, cohesive plan mapped-out, the more likely it seems to me that I’ll actually stick to it, because it’ll feel like something I can realistically achieve. That’s the plan anyway.

I will still probably make a master list – more of a summary, but with the same function in mind – of beta feedback, just so that the main critiques are all in one place; I think the best way to do it is actually to just list all the things that more than one person noticed, and where there was a clear consensus in terms of a reaction. But for this part, the structuring, I already know what all of my issues with it are, and as I didn’t ask for any structural feedback I may as well get on with it, and strike while the iron is hot. I may as well use this motivation for what I feel motivated to do.

But I’m definitely going to at least look at the beta feedback before I get started actually writing draft 2, because I felt like I really benefited from the outside feedback the first time around, and if I can have such a different reaction to reading my own manuscript a second time, I assume it’ll be potentially just as enlightening to revisit beta feedback as well. And I should just read it a second time on principle anyway, and note down the main things most people noticed.

Reading over my summary notes right now, I’m just not quit sure how to use them – it’s useful, but I’m not sure in quite what capacity. Probably just to keep me honest while I go nuts with making revisions, and specifically to remind me of what happens in which chapters – I definitely liked splitting the story into clusters of chapters, as it was very useful (though I might just have gotten luck with a particular set of chapters that made sense to have clustered together) – but I think it’ll be most useful once I actually get started making a list of the changes that I’m thinking of making.

So I guess I’ll do that.

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