Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Sensory Overload - Part IV

I have now written 424 pages with 132,529 words in total for the first three parts of my science-fiction novel, Sensory Overload. According to my outline, I now have seven chapters to finish, plus an epilogue. My New Years Resolution for 2013 is to write at least five new chapters of the final Part IV by the end of the year. Since I average a little over two months per chapter if I stick to my regime of 2 new pages a week, it should be no problem.

Update: 4/3/13
I have finished the rough draft for Chapter 21. This one took three months because it ended up being 10 pages longer than my usual length. Writing this chapter helped me fill out deeper outlines for my next two chapters and also sparked me to rethink the future story-line after that. I decided to change a major plot-point and throw out my outline for Chapter 24 and replace it with a completely new story idea. The basic outlines for the final chapters survived, but needed some major revising to absorb the changes. I think it will be much better now.

Update: 7/3/13
Another long chapter, but I have finished writing Chapter 22. This chapter ended up being pretty straightforward and easy to write due to my earlier outline work, but I am still behind schedule. Unless the next three chapters are all well under 20 pages, I doubt that I will complete my New Years Resolution for 2013.

As I write the last part of my novel, I've looked back at the evolution of my writing process. For the first few chapters, I hand-wrote them in a notepad before transcribing them into Microsoft Word. Even after I learned to type fast enough to write creatively on a computer, I would still need to print out the completed pages to edit them with a pen and a crossword puzzle dictionary. Now I do everything on the computer, outlining, writing and editing. Even when I send chapters to my friends for review, it tends to be on their Kindle or Nook.

Update: 9/26/13
After writing two long chapters in a row, Chapter 23 is back to a reasonable length. I should have time to complete at least one more chapter before the new year begins. Halfway through 23, I decided that it will end up switching its location with Chapter 22. Since the timelines overlap in these last three chapters, the events in 23 will end up being anti-climatic after 22. Switching them will now prolong the mystery of what occurred at the end of 21. I now need to edit all three to make sure they are cohesive.

Update: 3/3/14
Helping to plan my wedding in January put me behind schedule in writing Chapter 24. Before I was halfway finished with the new chapter, Tori read the first three chapters of Part IV and had a problem with the major event that happens at the end of Chapter 21. At first I didn't agree with her critique, but she convinced me to think it over. After long debates in my head, I finally have a rough plan on how I can revise the troublesome plot-point and adjust the events in the 22 and 23 to fit. It will be tough to pull off but I think Tori has pushed me to improve my story. I will abandon 24 until I finish revising the three previous chapters.

Update: 8/1/14
Even though I had a revision outline, I was daunted by the task and distracted with our preparations for Burning Man at the end of the summer. I finished re-writing Chapter 21 yesterday and I think it is much improved. I know I will be obsessed with editing my Burning Man photos after the event so I hope I can finish revising 22 and 23 before the end of the year as well.

Update: 3/17/15
Slow as usual but I finally finished rewriting Chapters 22 and 23. I am looking forward to getting back to Chapter 24 that I started over a year ago. Including the 10 pages I moved into it from previous chapters, I have 22 pages that I will have to rewrite before I can start on new material.

Update: 7/27/17
That was a long layoff but I finally put my nose back to the grindstone and finished Chapter 24. At 27 pages, it ended up being another long chapter but I am happy that I am finally back on track writing new material. I have two trips to Los Angeles and Amsterdam planned for August and September so I hope I am not delayed too long with more photo editing.

Update: 9/24/20
It took me three years before I got back into gear and finished writing Chapter 25. While I want to blame my time-consuming photography hobby and the return to Burning Man in 2018 and 2019, the real reason I put off writing this chapter for so long was because I was a bit scared. Chapter 25 was the culmination of a lot of different plot threads and I didn't know how to tie them together. After re-reading all my chapters from the beginning, I finally figured it out.

This might be the slowest book ever written. I wrote Part I during my Twenties, took a long layoff and wrote Parts II and III in my Thirties. If I can finish Chapters 26, 27 and the Epilogue before my 50th birthday at the end of 2021, I will have written Part IV in my Forties. Three Decades!!!

Update: 12/10/20
The rough draft of Chapter 26 is complete. I wrote these 24 new pages fairly quickly as the story advances toward the final confrontations. I will now spend the rest of December re-reading and editing Chapters 25 and 26. My New Year's Resolution will be to finish Chapter 27 and the Epilogue before my 50th Birthday on 12/25/21.

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