A Quick Update, Plus Upcoming Changes to Future Chronicles
Chronicling The Craft is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today’s installment marks the beginning of Draft #3 (edits and minor revisions).
As the great and wise Rafiki once said during The Lion King…
Yup! About 4 weeks after finishing Draft #2 of The Keeper’s Curse, I decided that I’d spent enough time away from the story. I wouldn’t say I’ve been impatient about starting Draft #3. (Welll… maybe a teensy bit.) Instead, now feels like the right time, rather than a week or two from now. The plan is in place, all of the necessary documents have been printed – so, why not?
Since a new draft is beginning, I’ll recap my approach and goals for Draft #3, then reveal how this next round of Chronicles will run. Plus, I’ll let you in on a Tweet-y way you can follow my progress. Ready?
Getting Back Into the Swing of (Editing) Things
I actually started Draft #3 last Saturday, April 2nd, so this post is coming 1 week late. (*oops*) So far, I’ve read the first two chapters (and bled ink all over them!) and began editing Chapter 1. I also took a quick break to freewrite about one aspect of TKC’s world-building and history that needed strengthening. In hindsight I’m glad I took care of it, because now I can weave those elements throughout the entire draft and still have things make sense.
As mentioned in my previous Chronicle, I’m starting Draft #3 by reading a printed copy of TKC and double-checking all story-related facts. The neat part about this stage is that I can do most of the work away from my computer and give myself a “change in scenery,” so to speak. And as you can see in the above photo, my dining room table has become my temporary “Editor’s Desk.” 😉
At the same time, my “plan of attack” for Draft #3 has changed slightly. Originally I was going to finish reading the printed copy before I began the actual editing. Now, I think it might be better to read a couple chapters, then incorporate their changes right away. That way, what I read will still be fresh in my mind, and I can still fit in time for either reading or editing on select weeknights as well as weekends.
Also, I’m holding off on reading the manuscript out loud. Several changes that I made during the second half of TKC still need to be incorporated during the first half. (Read here and here if you’re curious about what I mean by this.) As a result, parts of the manuscript are still messy, and I’d rather not make this stage more complicated than it needs to be. So, the “reading aloud” part will wait until the end of Draft #3.
Finally, what other documents am I looking at besides each chapter print-out? Here’s a quick list of them:
- My Draft #3 checklist, based on my “Self-Edit Saver” Checklist. This one is comprised of notes I took while revising Draft #2 as well as your feedback on the excerpts I shared here at the blog. (Thank you again for your comments, btw!)
- A timeline of important events that happen prior to and during TKC.
- Fact sheets that keep track of character details such as hair color, eye color, etc.
- A glossary of names and important terms to ensure consistent spelling and capitalization through the manuscript.
Target Word Count and Other “Goals” for Draft #3
A few people have asked what my target word count is for Draft #3, or how often I plan to post new Chronicles during this go-round. Here’s what I’m thinking on those counts:
- Target Word Count: 105,000. I *think* it’s doable, since I was able to get a 132K first draft down to a 111K second draft. But we’ll see…
- Deadline: Once it’s in beta-readable shape. (See? I learned from last time’s misjudgment! *lol*) Ideally, l’d like to finish Draft #3 before the end of 2016, but I won’t be too hard on myself if it happens later.
- Frequency of New Chronicles: Maybe every 25%? Or every 20%? I haven’t decided yet. Once I’m further along, I’ll have a better idea on how often this series will post.
The New Format for Upcoming Articles
Thanks so much for your feedback on the Draft #2 Chronicles! The responses were unanimous on the overall length and suggested approach. It also became clear that eveyrone would like to see none of the current content (Progress Report, Tips, and “Fun Stuff”) cut from future posts.
So, instead of one new Chronicle for each Draft #3 milestone, two new Chronicles will post about 2 or 3 days apart. The content will be split as follows:
- Part 1: Progress Report & Novel Playlist Selections
- Part 2: Revision & Editing Tips
Doing this should help make this series more manageable for everyone: on the preparation and writing side for me, and on the reading and commenting side for you. Plus, if you’d prefer to check out the tips instead of the playlist songs (or vice versa), you’ll be able to pick which part to read once it posts.
Follow #TheKeepersCurse on Twitter
Have you noticed that writers (both published and not) often hashtag their novel titles on Twitter? People have asked if I’d do the same for TKC to make it easier for anyone who wants to follow its progress. So, if you’re one of the interested parties, feel free to follow the hashtag #TheKeepersCurse to see my most recent Tweets about Draft #3.
How is your WIP coming along? How do you typically approach your revision or editing process?