Monday, May 20, 2013

Keeping goals fluid

During April's session of Camp NaNoWriMo I focused on writing some short stories and new scenes for my first novel, the one I am currently working on revising, primarily because there was no way to set a goal of pages revised.  (It sounds like they may give us that option in July, though.)  I intended to finish revising -- both marking and making the revisions, as well as writing some more new scenes that I overlooked in the first draft -- by the end of June, so that I could start the new book in July.

Now, however, I am remembering again how long revisions take -- way longer than you would think, especially if you have a lot of fixing to do (which I feel I do).

Last Wednesday, for example, I managed to mark revisions on nearly 20 pages, but that was unheard of productivity for me.  Most days that I work on the novel, it's more like a handful of pages, if that.  It depends on the page -- some are relatively error-free, while others need complete overhauls.

Right now I am on page 135.  There are 292 pages in the printed version of this manuscript, which means I have 157 pages left to mark for revisions.  And then I still need to make the revisions on nearly all 292 pages.  (I say nearly all because I did already rewrite one whole scene for Camp NaNo in April.)  Plus write additional scenes, which will be who knows how many more pages.

Even if I don't think right now about the unknown number of additional pages for those new scenes I need to write, I still would need to do about 11 pages every single day until the end of June in order to finish.  I'm likely to miss days, though, especially on the weekends and on days when I have my riding lessons, so I should probably make that 15 pages a day.  And if I want to make sure I can also finish writing the new scenes, 20 pages a day...

I may have marked revisions on 20 pages one day last week, but I don't think it's a reasonable goal to work toward every day.

So, as much as I would love to be able to start writing a new book on July 1st, I don't think that's a reasonable goal to shoot for.  I think it's much more reasonable to plan on finishing my revisions during July -- I'll just set a page count goal for whatever I have left when the month starts.

This could change, which is what the Keeping goals fluid title refers to.  Just as I am adjusting my goals to try to be a little more realistic, if I am wildly productive during the next 42 days I may adjust my plans yet again.  We will just have to see what the next month will bring!

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