At the time of writing this blog post, I only have five articles left to read from my original list of about 23! Yes! I am going to finish those five this week, and attend to a few other research tasks such as scanning a few pages of a book that I plan to refer back to but have to return and picking up one of my fiction selections that I got from interlibrary loan. Speaking of fiction, I’ve already read one off of my list and added it to my annotated biology. It was a graphic novel, so I flew through it quickly as expected.
The research is going well. I’m building a robust list, though I expect I’ll still have to research some other topics once I’m finished reading what I have left. I’m still not sure where I’m going to go with another stream of research, but hopefully that will become clearer after I finish this round and take stock of what I have.
Writing hasn’t been as productive as I’d wish. Perhaps once I’m getting closer to really being finished with the research part, and can dedicate more time to actually writing, things will get easier. As it is, sitting down to work on finishing the second draft still feels like pulling teeth…I’m thinking about using the motivation of Nanowrimo to help me finish. Of course, I’m not going to add another 50,000 words to the draft, but just the goal of writing every day and the comradery of participating with the Nano community will probably help me a lot.
Speaking of second draft…I’ve been thinking about what that term means to me. For Retrograde, my second draft needs to: introduce a new plotline, completely remove most of the events of the middle of the story and replace them by weaving together the new plotline + existing ones to create new scenes, and change the ending to comply with the new narrative. This draft has to be cohesive, eliminate any major plot holes, and demonstrate a strong plot that’s really driven by Mercury’s actions. That’s it. Other things, I can fix up in the third draft next semester.
And what’s the goal of the third draft? Strengthening character arcs/characterization and polishing the solid plot foundations that I’m laying down in the second draft. By the end of the third draft, I want to have a story that is ready to be sent in to a developmental editor, whose fresh eyes can hopefully help me to see any leftover plot problems and help me plan out any big-picture revisions that are still needed before I begin focusing on the smaller details like improving the style of my writing, the sentence-and-paragraph structure, and so forth. So, what is really important for the second and third draft, for this Retrograde-specific process that I’m developing, is plot and characterization! To me, those are the two most important things in a story, and so I want to get them down solidly.
I’m excited for Halloween tomorrow, and to see everyone on Zoom class!