My Work Writing Process - Drafting

Resilience: My Side Project for 2014

NewYear14 005They say that when you finish a draft, you should leave it for a few weeks; or a few months if possible. It’s even better if you can throw yourself into a new project in that time – to get yourself fully out of that world and characters by visiting another one.

Planes Shifter is away until at least January 18th, and I expect to complete another 2 revisions before June. Thus, one of my goals for this year is to fully decide on Resilience’s plot; and hopefully to finish a full draft in that process.

Resilience is the working title for a standalone dystopian fantasy, about a government worker who is approached by a Priestess to look after a child who is deemed ‘dangerous’. Living with this child  begins her questioning about the myths she’s been told. When suspicion arises, she must choose between safety, and turn the child in, or freedom, risking her partner and herself in the process.

I have enough of an idea of which choice she makes and when that happens. But when I came up with the idea in 2010, I couldn’t get the time-scale to work.

Did I start the story before the child is involved?   
Or the day she’s found?    
Or even a few weeks later; when the government faction finds out?    
Or should I even begin once that phase is over – those events were all a catalyst for this bigger change.

For some reason, that decision blocked me from even plotting the main points; let alone writing. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve made a choice to start from X point, to only have two POV characters to begin with (I had five in the original draft) and I’ve plotted the first 50% of the storyline. I’ve also re-worked what I could salvage from the 26,000 words I’d already written, and now I’m fleshing it out.

Because this side project isn’t just a new story, or a re-write of a full draft; I didn’t quite know what to put as my progress bar. Did I focus on the plot, or editing the old material, or only count the new writing? I almost decided not to have a bar – but I love being able to let you see how things are going, and having that visual motivation of how far I’ve come is a tactic that works for me.

So as of today, I’m just having a simple wordcount progress bar. It’ll be slow-moving, but that will encompass time spent planning, writing, cutting, editing and re-writing all in one. My aim for the first full draft (V2) is 90,000 words, and I hope to reach that by the end of the year.

How do you handle side projects? 

Do you prefer to just focus on one thing at a time, or do you have lots of things going on at once?

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