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How to Write a Novel in Six Months, Week 20 Drafting Update: Racing Toward the Finish Line

Updated on December 10, 2008

As I write this week’s update, a post-it note reminds me I only have ten drafting days left for this draft. And THAT is exciting! Some things have gone better than expected. Some other things, not so good. But overall, I feel really good that I have a workable draft. (Working it over is another issue entirely!) This has been an amazing experience and whatever happens with this current novel, I’m certain that the process of writing it has made me a better writer.

Racing Toward the End I had thought that hitting the 75% complete make (in terms of pages) would have motivated me like crazy to reach the end. It did. However, in a way it’s been the wrong kind of motivation. I find myself rushing through scenes, leaving large pieces basically only blocked out. But then I remind myself that’s okay. Everything’s okay.

As I wrap up plotlines I find myself making a TON of notes. I keep finding little touches that are going to be great once I plant the set up or foreshadowing in earlier bits. The thing I’m most concerned about is my three other viewpoint characters besides the protagonist and making sure their story goals are adequate and that their characters are developed enough.

Words of Encouragement I’m always looking forward to whatever next step is just beyond what I happen to be working on at the moment. For this project, that’s revision. Last week I bought Elizabeth Lyon’s book on the subject, Manuscript Makeover. It had been recommended by a writer friend and as soon as I started reading, I knew this book was for me. After hearing so much advice to cut a first draft down, to tighten the writing, I was a little concerned because I know what my draft needs is fleshing out. It needs more emotion, imagery, and metaphor. Image my delight reading Lyon’s words:

“Most early drafts of novels are “tight” – they are shells of what they need to be, outlines or condensed versions of the full story.”

Halleluiah Lizzy! She might be my new best friend. I knew this philosophy made her the perfect mentor for me. The book is great so far and I absolutely cannot wait to get started revising. However, I’ve still got ten days of toiling away before I get to the ‘fun’ stuff.

This time next week it’s a party here on this series! I hope you’ll join me!

How to Write a Novel in Six Months, One Writer’s Journey

Week 1, Mapping Out the Six Month Plan

Week 2, Resources on Structure

Week 3, Index Cards Are My Friends

Week 4, Sketching Characters

Week 5, Researching Agents

Week 6, Outlining

Week 7, Detail Scene Beats

Week 8, Writing the Synopsis

Week 9, Drafting Update

Week 10 Drafting Update

Week 11 Drafting Update

Week 12 Drafting Update

Week 13 Drafting Update: Writer’s Block Week 14 Drafting Update: Appreciating Plot and an Awful First Draft

Week 15 Drafting Update: Formulas and White Space

Week 16 Drafting Update: Looking for an Agent

Week 17 Drafting Update: Confessing I Didn’t Write This Week

Week 18 Drafting Update: Plugging Along

Week 19 Drafting Update: Surviving Interruption

Week 20 Drafting Update: Racing Toward the Finish Line





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