So, about my goals for March. I didn't meet a single one as work just got too crazy. April has been easier workwise, but difficult health-wise. However, I have made some progress with my April goals (yes I know it's over halfway through the month now, but I've only just got round to blogging this, OK?). These are:
1. Write two short stories (done)
2. Edit and resubmit three short stories (underway)
3. Edit and submit three short stories (errr...)
4. Start on the sixth draft of the novel (underway)
Sixth draft? What are you playing at, Queenie?
Well, it's a tricky business, this novel writing. Sol Stein reckons his novels go through 11-13 drafts. On that basis, I'm only halfway there.
Here's how it's gone so far. I've written several other novels in the past, but never got beyond a first draft (and sometimes not even that far). A few years ago I went on an Arvon course where the tutors helped me to decide which of my ideas to take forward. The idea they liked best was one where I'd written the first draft in multiple third person POVs. One of the tutors advised me that this was too difficult for a novice novelist, and that I should write it all in single POV. So for the next four drafts I tried very hard to do this, and learned a lot of useful stuff about writing in the process. BUT the story refuses to be shoe-horned into a single person's POV, so one of my main tasks for the sixth draft is to put it back into multiple POVs. I think I'm ready to tackle that now.
The other main task is to design a proper plot - something else I've managed to get away with not doing up to now. I'm starting with that, scene by scene. I expect there will be about 80 scenes in total. So far I'm up to no. 4. I'd like to get them all planned by the end of this month, then I can start writing/rewriting next month. Some scenes, I'm sure, won't need a lot of reworking; some will need writing from scratch; some will need editing. I'll be glad when I get an idea of how many fall into each category.
I'm off to London today for a few days of jollity with friends and relatives, and a smidgen of work. I'll be taking my laptop and my plan is to work on trains, and in the early mornings, and in odd hours in between meeting people, and try to make some serious progress with the novel. Not sure how I'll get on... but it's worth a try. I'd like to get this draft finished by the end of June, although whether I manage that or not probably depends on how much paid work comes in over the next couple of months. We shall see.