Today I started the “Manuscript Slog” portion of the Holly Lisle One-Pass Revision Process, which is just what it sounds like: take page one of your manuscript, uncap your pen, and spread ink all over it until it is completely blue. Pick up the next page and repeat until there’s nothing left. I got through page 6 of the 500-page manuscript. And I cut five of those 6 pages completely. My self-imposed January 31, 2009 deadline feels a little optimistic at this point.
It sounds a little worse than it is. I’ve known for a while that much of the first 20,000 words of this draft are more backstory than story, but it’s still a little sad. If these pages are representative of the first (roughly) 75, it means that virtually all my first three weeks of writing will get cut — not just revised, but tossed completely. I’ll salvage what I can, and maybe post some pictures once the manuscript starts to look really grotesque (which was one of Unfocused Girl’s spelling words for today’s test).
The thing about the One-Pass Revision Process is that it does not lend itself to working on the train, because you need to spread out with all your papers and whatnot. What to do, what to do. Yesterday, I wrote an 1,800 word short story between the train rides and lunch; I’m going to try to hold off revising it until I’m further along with MTL. I mailed “Jimmies” off to a magazine, one of the pro markets that requires a hard copy submission, so I had to go to the post office near work, which is a pain now that it’s really freaking cold. I’ve got another short story in revision mode that I want to let sit for a little while.
So what to do this morning? Why, I started work on my next novel, of course. Thanks for the suggestion, honey! For the next novel, I’m trying Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method of outlining and planning a novel. I know, I know; I’m now stuck using two different people’s methods or processes or whatever; maybe they work for these poeple, but that doesn’t mean they’ll work for me. That’s why I’m trying them; if they don’t work, I’ll try something else. Right now, I’m just in the outlining phase, so the worst thing that can happen even if I decide I hate outlining is that I start the actual writing of the novel better prepared than I would have been.
Breakfast with Santa tomorrow, which will be fun (even if the breakfast itself isn’t so hot).