Version Control – The Climb #189

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Version Control – The Climb #189

Saturday 29th July 2017

Whereas yesterday I woke from a nightmare, this morning I woke to a revelation.  The novel starts in the wrong place.

I’ve been stressing over the early chapters of Black As Knight.  It’s probably been the biggest challenge throughout the creation of this novel.  I rewrote it a couple of years ago and with all the various changes I’ve needed to make, it now seems clunky and overladen with exposition.

Whilst I haven’t been specifically stressing about it, it has been a concern and has taken a lot of my time as I try and work out what to do.

And today, the resolution just popped into my head.

The novel currently starts with our hero inside a cage atop a wagon.  I like that start but I’ve had to expand on a few things so that it now goes into a lot of the reasons as to how and why he got there.

So I think the answer is to start the novel earlier, when he reaches the port.

Of course, making such a big change is scary and I found myself reluctant to start, but in the end I told myself that it’s OK to write a shit draft of it.

That didn’t stop me getting distracted by some other tasks though.  I went into town and paid in a cheque.  In truth, I tried to run into town but I discovered that my cardio is drastically lacking.  I made a note that I need to work on that in the coming months, especially if I want to be more aggressive in my swordfighting.

I got back and made brunch, to then procrastinate further.  I put it partially to good use by starting to outline the short story I need to write.  Again I told myself that it was OK for the first draft to be shit.

But, again, I seemed averse to writing.  Not sure why?  I think it’s fear if I’m honest.  Sometimes writing after a break can feel a bit like jumping into a cold swimming pool.  Sometimes I just want to dip my toe in.

So instead, I did another difficult task that didn’t require any writing.

I version control my drafts. Major changes such as redrafts or heavy edits get a major revision, whilst things like spellchecks and hunts for typos get minor revisions.  It’s proved very useful but that doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes.  It just makes it a bit simpler to correct them.

The last version I sent to my agent (back at the end of last year) was 12.2.  However, after completing version 12.0 I exported it into Microsoft Word for spell and grammar checks, which resulted in versions 12.1 and then 12.2

And this would have been fine, if I’d then re-imported 12.2 into Scrivener and used that to create 13.0.

Except I didn’t, I used 12.0 instead.

And I never realised until I was well into the edits in 13.1

Whilst the difference between 12.0 and 12.2 is minimal, it’s still enough to really bother me, and so I’ve been trying to work out how to fix it.

What I did tonight is compare 12.2 with 12.0 in Microsoft Word and then take each change and manually add it to the 13.1 version in Scrivener.

It’s stressful, time-consuming work, mainly because there are a lot of changes and I’m annoyed at myself for making such a stupid error.

But I spent the best part of this afternoon and this evening going over the 950ish changes and applying them to the 13.1 manuscript.

Whilst there’s part of me that wishes I had just got on with the new beginning (version 14.0), there’s an even larger part of me that’s relieved that I spent the day dealing with a huge piece of work and getting it complete.

So whilst I didn’t do any writing today, I’m well and truly back on the edits for Black as Knight, having fixed a major issue that was causing me some stress.  Tomorrow, I’ll work on the new beginning chapters.  I have a good idea of what needs to be done and I think it should work, but for all I know I could be just making things a lot worse.

At least if I do, I’ll at least be able to roll back to an earlier version without worrying about screwing up my revisions.

It’s good to be back to work on the manuscript.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-07-30T18:06:51+01:00July 30th, 2017|Process, The Climb, Writing|0 Comments

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