Friday, May 28, 2010

A Writing Schedule

First of all - I want to say that I found the new way to compose on this site - somehow I'd gone to some bizarre way to upload photos etc...that was tedious and difficult - this is supposed to be the improved way - don't know why I didn't go looking before. I have a Porche that I drive like a wagon!
Enough of that - I am approaching my revision process like a porcupine coming for a cuddle. I don't want to hurt anything but I need to get quite close! I have a free hour or so this morning before hanging with my pal so thought I'd try and organize my upcoming days. Bear with me while I work this out. As you may know, although I am a non-outlining, harum scarum, seat-of-my-pants kind of writer, I ADORE systems. Especially ones I invent myself solely to torture myself. Maybe it's a fetish thing. I'd like that...

Typical Day -
First problem is that I haven't had a typical day in at least ten years. I don't have a 9 to 5 job, or almost anything that I do with regularity. I try and walk, meditate and write everyday or at least two out of the three for a guilt free sleep. Other than that - nope. Some days I might have two to five clients to see in town. Others no. Tuesday mornings are for writing, Tuesday afts are for grandchildren. That will change the end of June when I won't be needed to meet the school bus. I usually try and see clients on Fridays so that I feel this great sense of having DESERVED my weekend. I am such a child! Today that isn't true. I have a hang out with my friend, go to doc about mysterious aches and pains, see one client, rush home- pickup step-dot and take her to a choir performance that includes my best friend. Totally ordinary day - typical in its chaos but nothing I can count on. Just to say...

I am therefore going to consider my writing life like I should my money and budget out the time. Make it a priority like I do on Tuesdays and block out chunks of time from now until I think I'll be done this next phase. So, I think it will take me seven weeks to get my 2nd draft done. At that time it will be ready to go to my readers and for a helpful edit (Gwen and I exchange on this - she will do my edit and I will write grant copy for her)

Within that seven weeks I will need to find 140 hours which is  20 hours a week.

Week One:
1. Read through first draft with minimal markings - 6 hours
2. Analyse - with set of questions - Make sense? Like characters? Suspense? Flow? Stakes high enough? Plot hangs together? - 6 hours
3. Write three or four summaries of entire novel - up to 3 thou words each. - 12 hours - use 8 this week.

Week Two:
1. finish summaries - 4 hours
2. Choose summary most drawn to and fine tune - 10 hours - use this as road map for 2nd draft.
Start revision proper - go through check list
3. Character revision - 6 hours

Week Three:
1. Character revision continued - 14 hours
2. Plot revision - 6 hours

Week Four
1. Plot revision continued - 14 hours
2. The opening - 6 hours

Week Five
1. The middle - 6 hours
2. The end - 6 hours
3. Scenes - 8 hours

Week Six
1. The setting & description - 6 hours
2. Voice, Style, & POV - 6 hours
3. Dialogue - 6 hours
4. Theme - 2 hours

Week Seven
1. Theme continued - 4 hours
2. The Polish - 16 hours

Whew! I feel exhausted. What do you all think?


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Maybe I should try that. I have no J-O-B and my schedule is beyond chaotic. Maybe if I broke it down into total hours rather than time of day, it would help.

Talli Roland said...

I'm exhausted reading that but I'm also super impressed. I try to write in the morning as it's when I'm freshest, and then leave the afternoon for piddly tasks.

Looks like you have a great strategy for getting it all done!

Clarissa Draper said...

I think that's amazing and incredibly organized. I might use this time schedule when editing my next book.


Watery Tart said...

Bank account bit sounds VERY logical... get the 20 hours in where you can--steal them if you have to...

I am cracking up though, at you 'harem scarem' writer with the DETAILED rewrite plans! Holy COW! I'm exhausted just reading them! I think the most amazing part is you have an estimate how long each point will take. I think I am more of a 'scene by scene' editor and try to catch all the questions in a given scene when that scene has my attention... (am DEFINITELY doing scenes out of order this time--that seems like a better way to spot weakness to me)

Michele Emrath said...

I think this is a great plan. I need to form a plan. I am also a non-outliner. And a non-planner. And a non-lots of things-er.

As usual, I love the photographs. You are a real talent. You could publish a book of photograpsh and I'd buy it!


Jemi Fraser said...

I'm a little pooped just reading it! I love that you haven't had a typical day in 10 years - that's what I call living! :)

Jan Morrison said...

Diane - yep, chaos is my middle name. I'll keep everyone advised as to how it goes, I promise.
Talli - morning is my time too. I realize that this is over 2 hours a day once I start or packing in the weekends - hmmmm...
Clarissa - feel free - a lot of it is taken from Scott Bell's editing and revision book.
Perhaps you should wait and see how it works for me ;)
Tartlette - yep, this is my plan now how it pans out is anyone's guess. I'm willing to jettison a plan if need be.
Michele - thanks! Now that's an idea...
Jemi - I guess it must be what I call living too!