Okay, confession time. We’re not at the beginning of this journey. We’re somewhere in the middle, but probably closer to the beginning than the end. No, it’s not one of those plot devices where the story unfolds in a nonlinear fashion. I’m just late to this blog.
So here’s where we stand. I’ve already written the first two drafts of The Woodlander. The bad news is you don’t get to watch me stumble through that process. The good news is you don’t have to watch me stumble through that process.
But I’ll give you a quick recap of the last six months anyway, just so we’re all on the same page. I started writing The Woodlander back in February 2012. I spent about four months writing the first draft. I wrote three to four hours a night, usually after I got home from work, aiming for two thousand words a day, but usually settling for half that. When I was finished, I had about 90,000 words. What can I say? I’m a slow writer.
As I was writing, I was also learning the craft. Things like dialogue attribution, “show, don’t tell,” or even basic grammar. By the time I finished the first draft, I immediately wanted to go back and fix all the things I did “wrong” in the previous chapters. I have a feeling that will never change. Right or wrong, I decided to make another pass through the book. I finished the second draft in mid-June.
But that was almost six weeks ago! What have I been doing since? Not much, just walking around, looking at stuff…
Okay, not really. I have been doing things, just not working on The Woodlander. I’ve been reading a lot. I also started the sequel to The Woodlander. Just four chapters so far, but I’m very excited about it. And I started this blog. So I have been working, just not on The Woodlander.
Why not? Because that’s what Stephen King recommended. No, not to me personally, but in his book On Writing. The idea is to take at least six weeks off from your book, and when you revisit it, things you never noticed will jump out at you. Yeah, Stephen, that’s what I’m afraid of!
That may be the scariest thing the master of horror ever wrote, but I figure the man knows a thing or two about writing, so I’m giving it a shot. My six-week break ends next Wednesday, August 1st. That’s when I start the third draft. Hopefully I won’t encounter any problems too big to fix. Even worse, maybe I won’t see the problems. If so, I blame Stephen King for all my failures as a writer.