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Brian J. W. Lee is a writer. When he's not writing, he's plotting to plunge the world in a deep chasm of terror, darkness and screams. Sorry, did I get carried away?

Monday, 29 August 2016

Writing Report #7: Surviving

This writing report is for Saturday (27/08/2016), Sunday (28/08/2016) and Monday (29/08/2016).

Self-editing is said to be much tougher than writing. This is especially true, I feel, the more skilled you are. While I won't believe that I am extraordinarily skilled in writing until I see people actually buy, read and praise my writing, I'm starting to feel that way with the recent turn of events.

My previous drafts were easy to produce - I didn't make any significant changes. A grammar fix there, a rephrasing here. These days, in producing draft 7 and making wide, sweeping changes, I can't help but to feel a little traumatised and at the same time emancipated. On one hand, I'm cutting my darling up like a depraved maniac, and on the other hand, I'm making my darling more beautiful. Masochistic much?

But what is worse is that I had to do it all over again on Saturday, after mourning the loss of some 8 days of progress. My strategy has changed though:

- I'm starting where I last left off, except for the part where I cut out an entire chapter of some nearly 4,000 words and cannibalising some of the contents for the next chapter for a net loss of 3,500 words or more.

- I will focus on making huge progress in the weekends or even weekdays, to make up for lost time.

- Stick to the schedule. If I can't double back to the first 14 chapters before I run out of time, I will leave their fates in the hands of my proofreader. Best I can do is to have a crunch day or a few crunch days to make up for lost progress.

- I will be dumping my day job's annual leave on the week I am supposed to turn in my draft to a proofreader, to accommodate the above and head into the breach.

With that in mind, I spent Saturday working as hard as possible, but ultimately failing to make a dent on my 'behind-schedule' status. Two chapters were edited, though it's a matter of perspective. One was cut and the other absorbed the cut chapter. The cannibal-chapter was fully edited.

Sunday was where I shined. Four chapters edited. It was easier when I was getting closer to the mid-point of the novel, as this was where my writing matured and looked better. Which is not good. I have to keep this in mind when I go back to the first quarter of the chapter. Gotta make my first impression with the readers count.

Monday was where I under-performed... Again! I was barely able to edit one chapter. Towards the back, I started falling asleep. Would have to go back to the last page and edit it again. Note to self: Buy mints.

As it stands, this is my progress so far: I have 17 days to edit about 40 chapters... Plus redo the editing that was lost on 14 chapters at the front. That's slightly more than 3 chapters I need to do per day. Crunch time is definitely required if I want to get everything right.

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