August update

My blog has been silent of late as I have been working on my dissertation on … silence. August has come at last, which means I am preparing course packets for my class this fall and trying to finish a draft of my prospectus. I currently have 24 pages, but not 24 pages that hang together as real live draft. The writing process has been a lot like Yeats’s “widening gyre,” except in reverse. Each version gets closer and closer to what I want it to look like, but it still feels like I’m writing in circles.

I started editing my book last week and the process still took me by surprise even though I’ve read every article ever written on the subject (ok maybe not, but I’ve read a lot of blog posts about it). I’m editing approximately 15 pages every hour—who knew it would take so long? I’m up to page 75 out of 267 and I’ve been working on it for the past five days. From what I’ve done so far, I think about 2/3 of my words are usable. It’s startling to think that so many words just won’t work, but I’m clearing up plot holes and making the book that much stronger. It will be a longer process than I thought, but as long as I’m still having fun, I’m going to keep plugging away.

And because I’ve been away so long, here’s a pretty picture of a beach:

It’s not a vacation—it’s research! I promise!


6 thoughts on “August update

  1. L.G.Smith says:

    It takes me ten days to a couple of weeks to go through someone's full manuscript in critique mode. Revision and editing my own work usually takes me months. Of course, I'm not on a deadline either. Good luck with the edits.

  2. Anna says:

    It makes me feel so much better that it takes so long to edit. I thought I could whip up my w.i.p. in now time at all. It's good to know I'm not just a slow-poke.

  3. magpiewrites says:

    Anna, I am so there with you. I've been editing all summer long. My book is 320 pages. I split it into 3 sections of roughly 100 pages (because if I try to edit the whole thing at once I will lose my mind). I work and have kids, so I don't have tons of time but, after two months I'm finally on the last section. Also, don't know if anyone else does this, but I edit in layers. I read and take notes, make notes in the margin, then go in and make changes. Then re-write entire sections or new scenes. (then I pause to cry and drink gin. sort of) then I go back again from the beginning of the section. That's *before* the beta readers get their hands on it. A long winded way of saying – you are doing FINE! Your process is the one that will work for you. keep going!

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