In a recent post, I wrote about some piece of shit writings I am working on.
Piece of shit the lesser is going to fall by the wayside for now except if I get bored and decide to put it out of its misery.
I learned in September that having a goal that I need to work towards every day makes a big difference in my productivity and general happiness in life. My project for November is editing and improving piece of shit the greater. (When I say “greater,” I mean “bigger,” although it is better than piece of shit the lesser, so the labels are misnomers to some degree.)
I’m going to copy and paste what I wrote about it because I’m too lazy to rephrase it: it’s a behemoth patchwork of scenes with no discernible plot; paragraphs that amount to little more than stage directions that I was supposed to flesh out later but no longer remember why; long series of dialogue between immaterial talking heads; and redundant opening chapters that I don’t know how to begin to merge. Some parts are completely untouched, others edited several times. Some of it I actually quite like, some of it makes my face burn.
There’re a number of seemingly random paragraphs highlighted according to a color-code system I no longer recall. The work is also littered with [my comments and asides in brackets].
Therefore, I’m going to park my bum in front of my computer for 30 minutes a day editing, outlining, or writing in the hopes that by the end of the month, a leaner and more straightforward piece of shit will have emerged along with a roadmap for the future. I also hope that the main protagonist reveals who she is to me, because she’s mute and I don’t know why. You can’t force these things.
I plan to keep a brief daily log of what I worked on and learned. As I go along, I figure I’ll try out different techniques and theories. I’ll post my log once a week because I feel like hitting “publish” is as bad or worse than ringing someone up in the middle of the night.
This week, I plan to focus on reading through the whole thing which is about forty thousand words, however painful and cringeworthy that may be, and identify the most glaring issues needing my attention. Once I have a handle on this, I’ll have a better idea of what to tackle next. Hopefully, I’ll have a stronger sense of the story arc. I find that the more I work on something, the more ideas are generated throughout the day.
I know some other folks out there do the November novel-writing thing. I don’t have the mental stamina to write that many words. It takes me hours to produce five hundred word sorta kinda coherent paragraphs so I’d lose my mind trying to write over a thousand. Or just type anything to get it over with.
Anyways, for those of you working on something daily, I hope you feel free to share what you’re doing and what you’re learning as you go along.
(I need a better name than “November Editing Project Thing.”)