Monday, March 7, 2011

Update on Project Demo: Operation 50/50

When last we blogged about our fated book, Project Demo, we were in the Slough of Despond. So today I anticipated my faithful blog readers might be in need of a writing update with some good cheer.

Lately, I've been working through my second draft. I don't believe I've ever written such a rough rough draft, so I've been following the main plot line through, deleting scenes, rewriting scenes, and adding scenes. I'm giving myself permission to skim over anything I don't fully understand at the moment. If I can finish with a coherent single plot, I'll use my third draft to flesh out characters and subplots.

But it's been a lot of work, and it still has a long way to go. So when Karen, at Musings of a Novelista, blogged at the end of February about Operation 50/50, I knew I had to get on board. Her plan? 50 scenes in 50 days, beginning on the 24th of February, ending on April 15th (apparently she's an accountant's daughter, go figure).

Operation 50/50 has been perfect for me. As 2/3s of my scenes are already written, it's not such a challenge to revise a new scene every day. But that also includes writing new scenes, and planning what's going to happen next (which is still pretty hazy in this rough draft of mine!). But every morning I get up, knowing I need to produce a scene by the end of the day. It's been a great impetus to get on with it. And even though it's just scene by scene, I've been amazed at how quickly Project Demo is growing into a real book.

I'm just under halfway through this draft, and beginning to chug ahead (this past week I did two extra scenes!).

How are all of your projects (writing and otherwise) going?


  1. ooh! Impressive - well done you!

    The home front has been absorbing all of my energy for the past week or so. I seem to be an all-or-nothing person: either I get so absorbed in the writing that I forget to pickup the Kidlet from school (she walked home by herself and wasn't traumatized or anything, thankfully!), or I am totally focused on household stuff to the exclusion of writing.

    I admire people who can balance both! I want to be one of those writers....


  2. Good for you, pushing on ahead. I'm always tempted to go back over what I've just written instead of pushing ahead and creating new stuff, working towards a roughly-hewn whole that can be more easily refined later. It's stupid to work hard polishing little bits that may just have to be taken out altogether later.

    I've just finished my latest draft and sent it off to my agent (fingers crossed that he likes the changes I've made!). I'm trying to get back to the ms I was working on earlier, but I find it a challenge to move from one world to the next.

  3. Good luck Anne, glad you found a way to give yourself some morale-boosting :)

  4. Elisabeth: What I wouldn't give to be someone who could become easily absorbed in something! I'm always fidgeting, getting up to water the plants, check for the mail, etc. Hopefully for you the writing front will rear up soon!

    Mary: Yes! Going back is such an inefficient way of working, yet for me, too, sometimes it's hard to go forwards without perfecting what came before. So having a mechanism to keep pushing me forward has been ideal.

    Ohhh, how scary! I'm crossing my fingers for you! Hopefully you can find a way into the new project while you wait--though like you, I find jumping from one project to another difficult.

    GF: Thanks! Whatever it takes to get the novel written, huh? =)

  5. I'm working on a late stage revision that needs careful attention. No more "skip it and come back to polish later"... it's time to polish now!
    And the snow is almost gone, so very soon I will have the huge distraction of gardening. Time to get this ms in shape :D

  6. Oooh, causing a scene a day for 50 days sounds like something I could totally do! {re-reads post} Oh. You mean I have to WRITE one.


  7. Lily: Ohhh, that's the tough part, when you know it has to be perfect! Good luck!

    AnneB: Hah! Maybe we should organize a goal to make a scene for fifty days straight. I could totally do that, too. =)

  8. Isn't it great how those kinds of concrete goals can be so motivating? Glad to hear things are going well!

  9. Thanks, Anna! Yes, exactly. I think I sometimes lose sight of how useful those concrete goals (time spend, word count, etc) can be.

  10. I'm so glad that you are on board with Operation 50/50.

    We still have about six weeks left --- just think of all the scenes that we'll have at the end. :)

  11. Ugh... after a busy week, 6 weeks sounds like a long time! But you're totally right--I'll just keep thinking of how many scenes I'll have at the end. Hopefully a completely finished draft to boot! Thanks so much for suggesting it Karen, it's been such a needed motivator!


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