Fall Sunday Stats #9/Revising Meet the Larssons, Day 4: The Easy Part Is Over.

I get the Bad Dad Award today.  Junior has been going through a whiny and uncooperative phase lately, especially when it comes to transitions — leaving the house to go to school, leaving school to go home, even going to breakfast with Santa yesterday morning was a test of my patience with his kvetching (I failed, BTW).

This morning, the Mrs. had to go to church a little early for a rehearsal, and since she usually takes the kids I was looking forward to three hours free to edit MTL and get in a run.  So when Junior announced that he didn’t want to go to church, I admit to a little bit of concern that my plans were going to go out the window.  Lucky for me, I had a babysitter I could call on short notice:  Mr. Television!  Go, go Power Rangers (the mid-1990s movie, at 95 minutes).  And What’s New Scooby-Doo? (insert DVD, press PLAY ALL, kthxbye).  Apparently, that’s all he’s wanted all week — he was happy as a clam, and only came upstairs twice, to ask me to change the DVD or get him a snack.  I think I owe him at least a couple of hours of Trouble, Go Fish or Battleship.

Is that Buckeye Outdoors widget on your sidebar just for decoration? Check it, chief:  I ran FIVE miles today (*puffs out chest, snorts*).  Yeah, yeah (*deflates*).  A lousy 5 miles, which makes it my longest run in three weeks, and only my second run in that time.  I’ve been busy, I’ve been tired, it’s been cold, I went on a 1600 mile road trip, yadda yadda yadda.  I’m lazy.  I ran on the treadmill this morning, because I am (as previously noted in this space) a wuss, and it was four degrees outside at 8am; it’s almost noon as I write this, and it has made it up to 11.  Yippee for gas fireplaces!  [Update at 2:30pm:  it’s up to 16.  Let’s go streaking!]

What’s been playing on the iPod? During today’s run, I listed to Adventures in SciFi Publishing #69 (Tom Lloyd) and part of Escape Pod #179 (“Arties Aren’t Stupid”).  Earlier this week, I listened to I Should Be Writing #105 (welcome back, Mur!) and Accident Hash #279 (“2008 Turkey Drive Special”).  I’m still looking for recommendations, but there are a couple of new-to-me podcasts I’m going to put on my playlist in the next week or two; if I like what I hear, I’ll let you know.

How’s the writing and revising going? The Manuscript Slog Meter for MTL at the top of the sidebar is a little misleading.  The “59 pages revised” is actually 58.5 pages cut, with half a page revised and stuck in between pages 84 and 85.  That means I have cut all of the first eight chapters.  I’ve also handwritten a new chapter one (13 pages); old chapter nine will be new chapter two, and so on.  I have yet to actually “revise” anything at all.  Now that I’ve finished the new chapter one, the real editing will begin with chapter nine/two.  It’s worth noting that the name “One-Pass Revision Process” is a little misleading, because it’s really two passes:  the first pass, the Manuscript Slog, is by hand; the second, the Typing In, is at the keyboard, when you type in (duh) the handwritten revisions and make additional edits on the fly.

I’ve been searching out other writers who have blogged their experiences with the One-Pass Revision Process.  I’ve already mentioned Amy at The Purple Patch, who completed it in two weeks; Jason Penney at All the Billion Other Moments blogged his experience with it over the course of a summer a couple of years ago, then launched straight into NaNoWriMo.  If anyone else has gone through this process (One-Pass Revision, not NaNo), please let me know how it worked out for you — if you blogged about it, feel free to post a link in the comments.

The Mrs. cut me loose yesterday afternoon for a 90-minute break at the local Starbucks, because she loves me, and I used the time to work on the next phase of the Snowflake Method of outlining my next novel (which I’m calling Project Hometown, for lack of a better title) which Randy describes as follows:

For each of your major characters, take an hour and write a one-page summary sheet that tells:

  • The character’s name
  • A one-sentence summary of the character’s storyline
  • The character’s motivation (what does he/she want abstractly?)
  • The character’s goal (what does he/she want concretely?)
  • The character’s conflict (what prevents him/her from reaching this goal?)
  • The character’s epiphany (what will he/she learn, how will he/she change?
  • A one-paragraph summary of the character’s storyline

I decided that I had three major characters, and for each one I focused hard on his/her story, from that character’s point of view.  In 90 minutes at Starbucks, I did more planning for Project Hometown than I ever did for MTL until I finished the first draft.  I have no idea whether it will be a better novel than MTL, but I think it will be easier to stick to the story arc.

Finally, I resubmitted TTB to an online journal.  We’ll see.

And now I’m off to help Junior make a bo stick out of paper towel rolls and duct tape.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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4 responses to “Fall Sunday Stats #9/Revising Meet the Larssons, Day 4: The Easy Part Is Over.

  1. How are you liking the Snowflake Method? I’ve never tried it but I’ve been curious about it for a while.

  2. I wrote the first draft of Meet the Larssons with no more planning than an hour’s worth of notes. So far, this is harder, and I don’t get to start writing until I get through all the preliminary stuff, which will probably take me a few weeks. I suspect I’m going to find that very unsatisfying until the moment I start writing the novel itself; I hope that at that point, it will be a huge help. We’ll see if I can stick to it.

  3. The Snowflake method intrigues me, but as is usual for these types of things, I have not been organized enough to get started with it. My previous book, I used a “5 chapters ahead” planning method with mixed results.

  4. I wrote a ridiculous amount of the first draft of MTL on the train. Since my train ride is only 17 minutes long, huge sections of the book were written in these staccato bursts. The most planning ahead that I did was to make a couple of quick notes at the bottom of the screen in all caps, just before my stop.

    I do not recommend that method.

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