Friday, March 18, 2011

Update on Project Demo: Something funny happened on the way to the end

For most of its creation, Project Demo has seemed the book that doesn't want to happen.

I completely gave up on it once, only to restart it when I couldn't get the idea out of my head.

In January I was nearing the end of the worst rough draft I had ever written when I decided I couldn't go any further. I outlined the climax and jumped back to the beginning.

Lately I've been going through the draft again, trying to make it tell a consistent story. I've been writing / revising a scene a day, along with Karen at Musings of a Novelista's Operation 50/50. I'm not even worrying about things like subplots and secondary characters yet.

But Wednesday something funny happened. I was almost 2/3s of the way through the second draft, and had just finished a major climactic scene. I intended to spend some time sorting through and planning the next section. So I started reading that awful rough draft I had written months before. And for once it was good. The characters' actions made sense. It had twists and turns I had completely forgotten about.

So remember that unfinished climax? I went back to my notes and on Thursday wrote the first half of it. Today I'll write the second half. I've also outlined the final two chapters. I should have the entire draft finished by early next week.

No one could be more surprised (and pleased) than me. Though I did say in Wednesday's post that middles and endings are my strengths!

The timing's perfect. Next week a close friend is coming to visit. I had been worried about taking time away from Project Demo, but now I think I can use the time to let the novel sit, and come back to it refreshed, ready to start again (and continue 50/50, since it has been so good to me!).

If this were a story and not real life, Project Demo would end up getting me an agent, a publisher, and a major prize. Or it could be a tragedy and after a year I'd decide I was right back in November to give up on the whole thing. Could go either way.

How is your writing going? Any minor miracles?


  1. Yay! That's great, so glad you're back on track :)

  2. Wonderful news! Enjoy your visit with your friend. Hopefully Project Demo will continue to percolate while you are having fun. I wrote 3000 words in one sitting right after I got back from Paris - the break was great!

  3. I love going back to read what I've already written and thinking, "This is good." We expect our drafts to need a lot of work and they inevitably will need revising. But when we feel good about a draft it makes a huge difference.

    My good writing news is that I am past the first 10k of my WIP and I also just wrote a short story that's been in my head for months.

  4. GF: Thanks! So nice to have people to share the excitement with!

    Elisabeth: Ohhh, I don't know if I've EVER written 3000 words in a sitting. That sounds good! Let's hope that happens with Project Demo. Regardless, I do think the time off will be good (for me and the novel!).

    Kelly: Yes, actually feeling unexpectedly proud of what we've written is SUCH a great feeling. Gives me the motivation to keep pushing forward, too. Congrats! 10K is a great marker! AND great that you also took the opportunity to write (and finish!) something else, too.

  5. I'm so happy for you!

    It really is nice when our wok comes together, isn't it? High hops often yield high results, so keep that attitude all the way.

    As for me, wrote an amazing first chapter and can finally revise the ending. I am very pleased.

  6. The only minor miracles is that I'm still hanging on. Ha.

    So glad that you've found Operation 50/50 helpful for you. It's definitely helping me. :)

    Have fun with your friend. I'm sure that you will have a blast.

  7. TD: Thanks! It really is nice when our wips come together, especially considering how much time we spend agonizing over them! How wonderful that you feel so good about your first chapter!

    Karen: Hah! That's a minor miracle for BOTH of us! It really has been such a needed push, Karen. Thank you! It will be good to spend time with my friend without Project Demo on my conscience, too!

  8. My only miracle (if it counts as one): getting helpful beta feedback for a manuscript that really needs it.

    We all have to keep plugging away.

  9. Ohhh, that can definitely feel like a miracle when the the advice is helpful, though!

    Yes, that's the story of the writing life, isn't it? Plugging away. =)

  10. Wonderful news Anne! I hope you'll post once it is wrapped up?

  11. Bridgette: Thanks! To be honest, my brain's been a bit weird again... I must have this THING about endings. I wrote the climax with no problems, but when I got to those last two chapters I had outlined for the epilogue, I just couldn't do them. So I've moved back to the beginning (again). I think once I really have a sense of the book, the ending will be ready to come together. Or maybe I'm just an impatient writer. Perhaps a combination of the two? =)


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