Writing Log: Synopsis & Plotting

I’m still working on the book I started working on in earnest back in, oh, January. I got stuck in the plot, bogged down in the mire of not knowing how to make all these loose ends work.

Recently I opened up the first chapter. I scrolled the end of a scene, hit return a few times and started rewriting the introduction to my character.

And it was like magic.

The scene was suddenly alive. It actually showed what the characters were about. It raised questions, created a setting. It got them going, got them doing something — which was really needed.

I went back and revised a lot of what I’ve written up to this point. It just felt like what needed to happen. Sadly, this dipped my wordcount below 20,000, which is depressing considering I’m expecting the completed first draft to be in the 80-100k range. An honestly,

I also took the time to write a more complete synopsis of the plot. Before, I’d written outlines, with each bullet point being a scene I was going to right. But a lot has changed in the plot, some of it has changed back — it’s all pretty different.

A lot of the 19,000 words I have will need to be edited down or taken out. A lot of it still needs to be parsed and updated to match the overall plot. But I do feel that I know better now what my plot is doing and where it’s going, and as I go along and edit or rewrite, a lot will need to be added, too.

My goal is to finish a first draft by the end of the year. I’d like to shoot for the end of November, so I can give the manuscript a rest and start on revision first thing in 2013.

With the new synopsis, I’ve actually been making pretty good progress. I’ve averaged between 1000 and 1500 words a day. If I’m going to be done by the end of November with an 80K word manuscript, that’s about right on target — though I’ll probably have to push it to the higher end of things.

How’s your writing project going? Have anything you’re trying to finish before the end of the year?

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