Friday, June 18, 2010

Project Sparkle: An update

I haven't shared any news about Project Sparkle since May, when I was slogging through the pit of despair (ie my plot). Things have gotten better since then, so I thought I should do an update.

Good news first!

On Monday, after all the writing fear I struggled with the previous week, I met with my tutor about my plot. She read my chapter by chapter outline thoroughly while I sat on pins and needles waiting. Then she said, "Yes, this is much better." Phew! We talked about a few small problems she found, she had a few questions, but the climax... it works! At least, on paper. Now I have to write the thing!

But since that meeting I've felt much better about Project Sparkle. I have a working plot. Onwards and upwards!

On Tuesday I sent the first eight chapters to two readers. This is the first anyone outside of my program and writing group has seen more of Project Sparkle than the first 300 words. You know how writers are advised to write what they know? I have... but other people know what I'm writing about a lot better than I do. So I sent the beginning to these readers to get their feedback about whether I had portrayed something accurately. Can I just tell you how scary that email was to send? What if I haven't? What if Project Sparkle is big flaming mess of offensiveness?

One reader replied and told me she'd read it next week while her daughter was at camp. Then Thursday (two days later!) I got this email:


I read it yesterday and am dying for more. Send the rest a.s.a.p. I will send comments in the end."

Okay, so there are still comments, which is a good thing, I need all the help I can get. But overall, sounds pretty positive, no? *happy dance*

It's useful to receive this good feedback now because the next month is going to be busy. I told my tutor I wanted to finish my first pass of this revision by the end of July. She's going on vacation at the end of July, so she said if I could get it to her by the 23rd, she'd read it before she left. That gives me five weeks from today.

I divided the novel up into sections and I have exactly five sections left to do. Perfect! However they're not equal by any means. I have a short, protagonist-is-briefly-happy middle section, then a much longer, things-start-to-fall-apart middle section, the lead up to the climax, the climax, and the resolution. And as you all know, the climax needs to be completely rewritten. Several other chapters along the way need to be rewritten as well. Plus I'm adding in character arcs, changing two of my minor characters substantially, trying to add more emotional impact. I've got a LOT of work ahead of me. The blog may be a bit sparse in the coming weeks because of it.

But I'm happy to have a goal. And readers wanting more.

How are your writing projects coming?


  1. When your readers want more, that's a great sign! It sounds like you're on the right track - yay!

    I've been having a hard time getting myself going, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon.

  2. Here's how my writing project is going: not very well. I'm sitting in the shade in the front yard, supposedly copying material from the Morning Pages book into the "notes" part of the text, but really keeping an eye on the goodies my sons are selling as part of the neighborhood rummage sale and catching up on my favorite blogs because it's easier than transcribing...! And thinking how I can turn this experience into a blog post of my own.

    So far we have unloaded two cubic feet of puzzles, toys, and books, a lot of them to the toddlers next door.

    It is 85ยบ and humid because we're in between two T-storm fronts, but it is breezy (because of the T-storm that's passing south of Milwaukee/north of Chicago) and that's keeping the mosquitoes at bay. According to the Intellicast radar, the other front just crossed the Mississippi and ought to make for a sturm und drang evening.

  3. Thanks, Anna. It's so hard when things get off track, isn't it? Trying to find the time, the motivation, and the path to move forward?

    I do miss my midwestern sturm und drang evenings! Hope you can find some real writing time soon! It's always so much easier to do ANYTHING else, isn't it? =)


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