Crane Girl: Flying Higher

My novel-in-progress, The Crane Girl, is coming along nicely. I got 1,800 words in yesterday, which puts my first-draft-o-meter above 60,000 (or about 200 pages).

My process for this novel is different in a lot of ways.

For one thing, I’m reading the novel out loud to my wife as I go. As it’s only a first draft, this is a bit nerve-wracking, but it’s worked out well so far. She’s been noticing the kinds of character issues that are much easier to change early on, and I’m grateful for that.

Another strange thing is that the first draft is already “finished” – even though it’s only 60,000 words right now. That’s because I wrote the second half of the draft in a quick, abbreviated way, leaving out details and sometimes whole scenes. Now I’m going back and filling in the gaps – and making big changes too. So technically I’m on the revision phase now, but it still feels a lot like first draft writing.

Major changes I need to make:

  • Main character needs to be more proactive (and smarter)
  • Sidekick needs to have a more distinct personality
  • Villain needs to be more menacing
  • Latter half of the book needs more conflict

In other words, I need to take it up to eleven.

Still, it’s coming together nicely overall. I get a better vibe from this book than the last. Can’t wait to get it finished and send it out to some agents! I’ve already got a first draft of my query letter ready.

What are you working on these days? How’s it coming?

6 responses to “Crane Girl: Flying Higher

  1. Finals! (Dies a horrible death after being crushed by giant math book). And a new novel that I have just started recently . . . and then had to put aside everything for finals and I.B. homework, including sleep. After finals, writing will resume. Blehhhhhhhh.

  2. I think nothing beats hearing your writing out loud. I think I first got the idea when I was studying Chaucer in college and reading it out loud to myself was the only way I could make heads or tails out of it. A major part of my process these days is having my Kindle read my stuff to me. It clarifies a lot.

    I’m working on a mystery story which is having trouble locating its detective. My regular detective (the one I’ve been writing about for 40 years) has decided that, no, she’s not going to solve this one. Someone else stepped in, but he’s found out that it’s more difficult than he thought, so he’s given up, too. Now I’m on Detective #3. I think she’s going to do it…

  3. So is the draft:”finished” or finished? Will you consider the counter finalized after you’ve gone back and added the material, or are you considering our little wager concluded? Just curious since I haven’t seen the bar move in a couple of weeks. Hope everything is going well.

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