Well, technically I would’ve begun drafting again by the end of June as I originally planned in the last post (I’m done editing the section I set out to tidy up), except I happen to be reading The Anatomy of Story by John Truby right now.
I read writing craft books often, but it’s rare that one challenges me enough to slow down my reading and really take it in. The Anatomy of Story is getting me to think of storytelling in a whole new way, and helping me step back and see not only the forest from the trees, but seeing the forest from the planet as well.
As I read it, I kept thinking “Man, I should be taking notes,” and “I should do these exercises with my current novel.” Except I hate breaking momentum once I’ve begun drafting, and I have (now had) a target to finish the novel before the end of the year. But the casual insights gained into my novel and characters from a casual reading have forced me to reevaluate my plans. I’m convinced if I slow down, take notes and do these exercises the novel will be ten times better than it would’ve been otherwise. So that’s what I’m going to do.
So now my plan is to finish the casual reading before the end of June and start rereading it to take notes and work on the exercises in July. I don’t have a good idea of how long those exercises and brainstorming sessions will take, so my new target is to have 75% of the novel drafted before December 1 (I estimate I’m at 35-40% now). That will give me time to put together a submission package to the workshop I’d like to go to and submit that before the end of December.