For the first time in two years, since 2011, I will not have a manuscript waiting to be finished over summer vacation.
It's official: Eleven's first draft will be done before June 20, just as I had hoped.
I'm not sure if it will be finished this week or next week though. It all depends on various factors - like if I can get my brain to concentrate on just writing instead of editing while writing, and real life stuff - and if I can get Chapters 16 and 17 to go the way I want them to. I'm at the most intense part of the story at the moment and sometimes those take me a little longer to write and get up to par for a rough draft or first draft.
When Eleven's first draft is finished, I will be taking at least one or two days that would have been "writing days" to go over it with a fine toothed comb, to check for errors, compress a few things and to add in anything I may have missed.
After that's done, it will go into the first round of stasis, and will stay there all summer. I will reopen it on my first "writing day" after school starts in September and do another round of edits before it goes into stasis, round two. When round two is over, Sandra and my betas get their paws on it.
So, I need a few projects to keep me busy over the summer, once Eleven is in stasis and the full blown "I have finished my latest manuscript and have nothing to work on/write! squirrel on speed mode" settles in.
One project that's been driving me nuts is Ten. It was started before I even had Eleven's idea, and I would like to try to finish it. I'm probably going to go over all of its parts, try to see what's wrong with it and correct it, if I have to because I can't get back into it. I wasn't really "in" to that story anyway, so that could be why Eleven happened to take over once I got its initial idea. If I have to, I will do a complete revamp on how the two mains meet and get to know each other. It's something I'd rather not do, but it could be necessary for me to finish its first draft. Not sure if this one will be published sometime even if it is finished, but we'll see.
Another thing I'm planning on doing is more photography. I suck at it, but practice makes better, right? I want some new, original photographs for my sites, and for a friend of mine, if she wants me to do some more for her.
I've also been thinking about looking through my "dead manuscripts" and seeing if any of them may be salvageable. If they're not at this time (that can change as I hone the writing skills), I may "steal" ideas from their ideas files for another project, like Ten for example. I've already stolen one from one in that folder for Eleven, and it works pretty darn good in that manuscript. I was going to use the idea for Ten, but went in another direction instead with those characters and their personalities. This idea fits Eleven a lot better.
I have an idea for a new story waiting in the wings... It's one I thought of two weeks ago, and although I haven't done anything other than jot down the initial idea for it, I may start mapping it out over the summer... Searching for character names, figuring out their ages, their personalities, where the bulk of the story is going to take place, and all of the "fun stuff" one has to do in order to prepare to write a story. I can do that easily with both guys home. All I have to do is plug in the earbuds and crank up the music, and I will be set. It's not like actual writing so it doesn't need my full concentration or complete silence, thank the stars!
The question is, will I get into that one or not? I honestly don't know. I never know if a story is going to consume my mind like "No Regrets", "Family Portraits" and Eleven had when I was writing them. It's hit or miss with me, and I guess I just got lucky with those three particular manuscripts. What story I'll finish next is anyone's guess, and it could be another year or more before I find the right one, or the right one finds me. I hope I have at least one more in me, because I want to continue writing, even if I never get published.
And if any of those projects do not keep me busy, there's always going over "No Regrets" and getting that story's revamp going full tilt. That is going to take me a long time to do, because I will be working on it only until I get into a new story, whenever that will be, and when Eleven isn't in stasis or being looked at by the betas.
I also have to consult with my best friend on that one about certain things, and hopefully we'll be able to start talking about it sometime this coming fall or winter. She knows my style, knows what I want to keep in that manuscript, and is one heck of a tough taskmaster when it comes to getting everything perfect. She and I will probably clean up Eleven first so that's ready for publishers' eyes (read: to reject!) sometime early next year, then get cracking on "No Regrets" and eventually, "Family Portraits" in between me writing other stories and the pair of us along with the rest of my betas cleaning up anything else I write.
It looks like I'll have plenty to keep me busy and AWAY from Eleven's file this summer once it goes into stasis for the first time. I just hope that when this story's first draft is finished and finally put away for those two months, that I don't completely lose it like I did when No Regrets was in its first stasis cycle. Oh, I was sooooooooooooooo bad............ Maybe the fact that Eleven took only a few months between its conception date and putting "THE END" into its first draft file will help. I had the characters from No Regrets living in my brain for over 2 years after its idea came to me, and for another full year after that, while I was writing its sequel (Family Portraits)... That could be a factor to why I went so loopy-doopy after the duology was finished, after all.
I just hope I don't chomp on the monitor TOO much this summer... Of course, not having a manuscript waiting to be finished may turn out to be a good thing in that respect!
Have a great week everyone!