Two weeks ago I was churning out words at a good clip — but things slowed down when I came around the corner and entered into the final couple chapters during which the climax unfolds. Part of the reason for the slowdown is that I didn’t really have these chapters mapped out. I mean, I knew what needed to happen, and generally how (having figured that out about 2 weeks ago), but there were still a lot of question in my mind of exactly who would be where, what they would do, and how that would tie off the various subplots and loose ends. I now have all that mapped in detail, and I like it. I think this fully clears the way for the home stretch and the stamp of completion on draft 1. Hopefully another week of hard work and I can cross that mile marker.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading and worrying about draft 2, but at this point I have a very good handle on the story. It turns out it is easier to step back and review each of your arcs once you have the ending really in place. Perhaps this is why they say to write it fully through once before trying to worry about all the cleanup. In any case, now that I really know how everything will end, and where the characters will be, it doesn’t seem as daunting to go back and clean up the arcs and properly pace the progress. It is also much clearer now what things need to be foreshadowed, and what side/secondary material I should cut verse work in better. I am pretty excited to start on that analysis, but I need to put it off until these last chapters are penned out.
I am pretty amped up to get this finished, but alas I am exhausted today, so I won’t be able to make any progress. Hopefully later this week I can find some long hours to chip away at the missing prose.
As a final thought, I previously posted a brief comment about the process of Workshopping. Unfortunately, I do not have a writers group or many friends that write actively. I reached out to a long time friend of mine who, in his past, did a lot of writing and holds a masters in creative writing to boot. He does not do as much writing now, and so even though he agreed to help me, it is a very one-sided exchange. That being the case, it is not something I am comfortable pushing 100K words through. Whatever feedback he comes up with I will take very seriously, but he is only reviewing the first few chapters and I plan to leave it at that.
I like to think of my self as unusually self-critical, and not too easily sidetracked by my own self interest or self investment. It is not possible to be perfectly objective or fresh when looking at your own work, but I am hoping that I can be pragmatic enough in my analysis that I can get it most of the way there without a proper beta-reader group.