Complete: Part II, Draft 1

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

I found that you can look up how long you have actually spent on a document. Don't, because it might break you. But, if you're that masochistic, simply right-click the document in the folder, go to Properties at then bottom, and go to Details. The second subheading is called Origin, and that's where I found all this info that I didn't even know I could access.

Part II, which I work on in a different file to Part I both for ease of referencing and so that the manuscript seems less insurmountable, was created 31st July 2017 (really?) and I've spent more than 140 hours on it. That's comparable to an entire week of no breaks or sleeping to create a 66-page document of 35,000 words. It's also made up of 64 revisions, which I'm hoping is the number of saves (I CTRL+S every couple of hours) but I suspect it's how many times I closed the document and reopened it.

And it's not finished. It's nowhere near finished.

My first draft of Part II is chaotic and confused. The setting is chaotic, and the writer was confused: do I really want all these characters running around or languishing in a corner? Let's get rid of some of them. Half of them. That little stooge just kind of hangs around without doing anything: let's cut him out too. Of the characters left behind, do they all really need to be taking up this space?

So I was cutting through my characters like the Grim Reaper and developing workable reasons why they had disappeared. Now I'm thinking of reducing them even more, which would mean going back to Part I and changing the conclusion. In turn, this will also impact upon Part III.

I also want to work in some memories and reflections in Part II, which I thought worked well in Part I. If not only for stylistic reasons, it stands to reason that my protagonist, trapped in a village for months on end, would dwell on her memories.

The village is another aspect I want to develop, particularly the mosque. I've been inside a mosque once in my life (a primary school trip, so this is going back a fair few years) and seen a couple on TV, but I suspect that a British mosque is not going to look the same as one in northern Nigeria. In my head I've built it as a sparse Church of England/community centre style church, and fine-tuning its depiction is something that, for once, search engines are failing me on: most pictures show the mosque outside, or depict the rich city buildings rather than those found in the north-west villages.

Part III will need a lot more research before it gets its first draft, so for now I'll make some minor edits to Part I before really going to town on Part II, which hopefully won't necessitate another 140 hours (which, incidentally, at the minimum wage for my age, is worth £1,050).

Here's to the rest of 2018 being full of completions and accomplishments: my major goal of this year is to get this novel finished and ready for queries.

#writer #writing #author #novel

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