Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Need a timeline . . .

Not a timeline for a story, but one to figure how to get a story done.  IMPERFECT continues to generate mountains of internal drama in my brain as I strive to revise it.  The re-writing process has been both exhausting and rewarding, but there's still so much I have left to do.

Here's a rough list of the madness ahead:

Phase 1 - Rough re-writing to fix major character and plot issues: I'm about 40% done. Probably about 80 hours of work left for this stage.

Phase 2 - On-paper proofread: This is usually a fairly enjoyable part of the process, usually taking about 60-80 hours altogether. The most annoying part is getting the manuscript to print without me getting an aneurism from yelling at my printer (WHY ARE YOU JAMMING AGAIN!! GAH!! WHY DID I BUY THAT DISCOUNT TONER CARTRIDGE!?!?).

Phase 3 - Re-aloud proofread: This is a new one I've only used once, and it was on a screenplay (significantly faster process than a novel). I feel like I really need to do it on this novel, despite how time-consuming it will be. Essentially, I read the entire manuscript to myself, recording my voice, then I play myself back and listen to see if anything sounds off.

It's extremely useful for finding bad sentence flow or unrealistic dialogue, but it takes forever. I'm guessing this step could take anywhere from 100-200 hours. 

Phase 4 - Send to someone.  This stage is different, because I don't do the work, but I probably will need to pay someone.  I'd like to send it to my editor friend again, the person who's fault it is that I'm going through all this in the first place.  And the person who will be to blame for the novel not sucking.

I have to be a sucker for listening to people who seek excellence in everything.  Alas . . .

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