Last week, I set a goal to edit 10 chapters, which would put me at the midway point in my manuscript. I knew this would require an extraordinary effort. I woke up early every morning. I stayed up later than usual every night (minus one). And guess what—I reached that goal! Pardon me while I celebrate.
Is it even a celebration if dogs aren’t involved?
I would love to maintain this velocity. The timetable for completion would be measured in weeks rather than months. But this pace is unsustainable. (I have the tension-headache to prove it!) While I can’t keep this up long-term, this edit sprint provided a much-needed jumpstart toward progress.
There are some upcoming chapters I am thrilled to review. Early in development, the middle of the story sagged a bit. To remedy this, I added what I hope are compelling elements, and I’m excited to improve upon them. At this point in the story, things are dark and winding out of control for the protagonist, and the bad guy is increasingly devious—it’s so fun to write this stuff. An edit sprint was just what the book needed, and I feel that I’m back on track now.
Sometimes saggy middles are cute.
I started posting Microfiction Stories as quick writing exercises. These are just for fun, but I’ve found that focusing my writing brain on something outside of The Mousetrap Killer for a brief stint helps with the overall creative process. The flashes of thought on something entirely unrelated have contributed to a few imaginative additions to the novel. Something similar happens in my day job, too. I might get stuck on a problem and spin my brain to solve it. The answer usually comes to me once I stop stressing over the issue, typically after a break or when I’ve started working on something unrelated.
I’m happy to have re-slotted myself into a groove. My long-term goal is an average of one chapter edited per day, with full knowledge that life’s gonna happen and I won’t be able to work on it every day. It may require another edit sprint like I did this past week. Whatever it takes. I’ll just keep on truckin’ through completion.