I have just finished ploughing through Part II of the pile of stapled-tegether scraps of paper that comprise the book I'm writing. When I'm done with Part III I hope to have a fairly coherent next-to-final draft.
No one should ever decide to write books. No teacher should ever counsel a student to write one, and any parent that encourages the activity ought to be arrested for contributing to the destruction of a child's life.
I can't wait for it to be over. Other than that, I'm happy with how it's going. I was afraid I'd find one big mishmash of a manuscript, but it's actually a lot further along than I thought.
I was emboldened to embark on this cleanup by something I found in one of my Barnes and Noble expeditions. "First Draft In 30 Days" by Karen S. Wiesner is a clear and encouraging handbook for those of us who have been struggling to link our pages together.
The "30 Days" part is a little misleading, though.
"Days 1-3: Evaluate Your Previous Draft." By "evaluate" she means: Get out your scissors. Take the pages. Cut them up into individual scenes. Staple the bits together so you dont' lose parts of a scene. Evaluate each scene individually. Decide if it needs to be stronger, is fine as it is, or simply needs to go.
Three days? In Part II alone I came up with 129 scenes. Just doing the arts and crafts part of that took three days. Ms. Wiesner must be one fast woman with a stapler.
In medical news: excessive stapling can bring on bouts of motion sickness. Really.
Oh well. When I've diced and sliced Part III I'll be very happy. Will even blog about what the book's about then.