February 2020 Writing Update

I’m back with monthly writing updates!

As a response to my indecision in January, I’ve decided to proceed with Leah Pool’s saga. At the moment, I’m doing that by (slowly) reading through the existing drafts I wrote of the immediate sequel, Onward to Tryon. Similar to the reoutlining approach I used for The Queen of Imagination, I’m writing each scene from the drafts on an index card, and, once I’ve read though all I’ve written to date, I will rearrange and add new scenes in, etc., to help me revise it and better shape the narrative. Unlike The Queen of Imagination, though, I’m also writing what I particularly appreciate about the scene and what editing I foresee it needing. These comments, I think, will be helpful reminders, since I will probably only be able to work on the project in spurts.

A stop-and-start process for writing does make sense, considering my current state as a graduate student. I’m thankful to say that this semester is already much more manageable than the previous one. However, I do have pressing academic and work commitments and a social life, among other things. Time is short, and my options many. Still, I am committing to working on my writing at least once a week. Some weeks that may look like a whole morning or afternoon; more often than not, it will be shorter blocks. The busier weeks may only allow for a few minutes of writing work. Regardless, I will make progress, little by little.

My experience reading through the existing writing of Onward to Tryon has so far gone better than I expected. For context, this book has been a troublesome sore spot for a long time, since (as I’ve mentioned before) Leah Pool’s story has a clearly defined beginning and end but a soggy middle. There are currently two versions of a rough draft for Book Two, one complete and one incomplete. The complete one was written before I had a clear sense of the story world and, as a result, has several inconsistencies. However, it also has some nice gems hidden in what is mostly a jumbled mess. As for the incomplete draft, it was actually was super encouraging to reread. Much of what I wrote is better than I remembered and expected. Also, for the parts that weren’t as great, I noticed a pattern: I had rushed writing the scene. It’s been a tremendous learning opportunity and makes me excited to tackle the project.

As for my long-term goals with Leah Pool, well, I don’t really have any. Just next steps, which include revising the sequel and eventually editing Our Company of Fools, which I want to do on one of my longer breaks (perhaps March, but more realistically in May).

I also hope to post on this blog twice a month. One of these will be a monthly writing update. The other will be thoughts that were on my mind. I have a running list of topic ideas, so we’ll see where that takes me.

Here’s hoping to a successful writing year, even if it’s in small ways!