Posted by: oneyearbook | June 20, 2009

Work-in-progress report

Poppies - lovely in all stages of life

Poppies - lovely in all stages of life

This week’s progress report is brought to you by the letters Q and Z and the number 7. (Does Sesame Street still do that? I remember watching as a child and dreaming of the day they would have the two letters be my initials and the number be my age. As far as I know it never happened while I was watching. I’m weird like that – I get excited when license plates have my initials on them.)

Anyway – progress! What happened in novel-land this week? Well, I spent most of the week doing the aforementioned overhaul of the first section, taking it from about 20,000 words to 16,000, streamlining the structure and strengthening the plot in the process. (I think it also strengthened the characters, but that’s harder to tell from this close.) That means that the first section of the projected four is about 1/5 of the book’s projected length, which is exactly what I wanted.

In the late going I moved on to the second section and spent a day working slowly through an outline – I know where the book is going in its final act, but in the middle there’s a lot to be discovered, and I was very happy with what I discovered during that day. Lots of fun things to write for section 2, I think. I then got started on that and have done a couple thousand words there. Next week I’m hoping to finish a first draft of that section, but that may be a little bit ambitious. We’ll see.

Notables: I have discovered some sort of an addiction to poppies – not in the opium sense, but in the literary sense. They’ve already showed up, either in direct description or metaphorical association, two or three times in the first section. I expect they will continue to bubble up out of the unconscious in the later sections of the book.

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