Saturday 2nd May 2020
My weekends and free time are pretty much consumed by World of Warcraft right now. I would have thought I would have burned myself out by now, but it still seems to be my coping mechanism whilst in lockdown, and since its working, then who am I to argue?
Of course, I’d love to be doing productive stuff but it’s more important to be kind to yourself. I’ve seen a lot of friends suffering with the mental strain of lockdown, and it’s weird how lockdown stress just eats away at you. Some days I just don’t feel like doing much at all, and that’s OK.
I find it incredibly difficult to focus when stressed. I need to fully concentrate when I writing, to be able to juggle ideas of plots, theme, character and prose simultaneously and use it to pour things onto the page.
It’s for this reason, I’ve been quite proud of the rewrite work I’ve been doing over the last month. Progress is slow, and whilst rewriting isn’t quite as taxing as writing something fresh, I’ve still managed to make progress in challenging circumstances.
Today, I managed to edit the first chapter of draft 2. It’s the James Bond pre-credits roll, and as a scene was already pretty good. Fears I had over the last couple of days, ebbed a bit as I dug into it.
Most of the changes were minor and at a prose level. I know some people do a structural pass, then a separate prose pass but I’m currently not one of those people. I’m not saying I won’t ever be, but I think that process change will come with any pre-publication work on book 1 (if and when).
For now, it was making a few tweaks. I cut a bit of dead weight off the end, as this now leads straight into chapter two. I also tidied up some prose.
This is a recap chapter in the guise of an action scene. The idea is that the crazy action keeps you entertained as I remind you of the world, the character and how the last book ended. It could be incredibly infodumpy but I think framing it as (as I’m calling it) a James Bond pre-credits roll – you know where James Bond does some major stunt piece before the intro theme song kicks in – makes a good counterbalance.
As a scene that needs to serve the purpose of introducing the character and bringing everyone (new and old readers) up to speed with where we are, I think it works pretty well. The rework also means that it directly sets up the conflicts needed for this book, rather than build towards them.
The next chapter sets up the plot for the book and defines the conflict going forwards, so I’m really happy with how dynamic this book is. But chapter 2 is a more difficult edit than chapter 1 and makes some key changes from the last draft, so that’s giving me a healthy dose of fear.
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