Unbalanced Act

I'm happily closing out on a week of trying to focus on two very different manuscripts at once. I used to be able to to this, but now that I'm older and a little more patient I realize that multi-tasking, at least when it comes to book writing, isn't doing anyone any favors. Least of all the proof readers of the world who have to deal with my creative spelling and made up words.

Book 2 is a little over the halfway point--as of today it's 42k and some change--and I'm not letting myself back track and tweak things. The goal is to finish the first draft and then begin the fixing up stage by adding scenes, deleting passages and moving stuff around. Today at the library, where I went for an hour of focused typing on my Dana, I found myself trying to edit by moving bits around before I stopped myself. They'll be time enough for that as soon as I finish the draft.

It's kind of like not letting yourself have six Oreos with a glass of soy milk until after you do 100 crunches. At least that's the way it is for me when there are Oreos in the house. So despite some misgivings and a mini-freak out ("I don't know where this is going! Am I veering too far off track? Should the story be somewhere else by this point? Did I use the same name for the Starbucks cashier as for the cousin of the neighbor?), I know that I can pull it all together because that's my job. Once I get to the revise stage, I'll actually enjoy myself because it's all there for me to work with.

Which bring me to...

My other project is complete manuscript which has been my unrequited literary crush for quite some time now. It's gone through three very distinct versions, but the core story has remained the same. I've just needed some time and space to figure out the right way to tell it so I'm happy with it and it appeals to editors and ultimately to the person debating what to spend their hard earned money on. My problem is that I'm enjoying going through it too much, making tweaks here and there, smoothing out any rough edges and forcing myself to not go through it line by line. This is where I wish I was with Book 2 but I'm not and that's making me anxious about all the work I have ahead of me (at least 30 days worth) before I can get to that stage. Not that this manuscript is perfect, but it's as good as it's going to get and I hope that with the help of the right editor, it'll get as close to perfect as possible.

I had lunch with Reyna Grande yesterday (look at me, Ma, I'm name dropping!) and she is in the middle of her next manuscript. It was nice to hear that an American Book Award winner--which she is for her novel Across A Hundred Mountains--still feels that her writing can only get better with hard work. She's gong to send me her manuscript and I'll send her mine. It'll be nice to read and hear what she thinks of it, because, yeah, if it sells and she likes it, I'm totally going to hit her up for a blurb.

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