I finished the rough draft yesterday morning!! WAHOO!!
I spent an hour dancing around the room (of course!) Then I buckled down and got back to work. Finishing the rough draft is kind of like getting a black belt in karate. It doesn’t mean you’re done learning – it just means you’ve got the basics down, so you can get to the real work. Similarly, probably about 95% of the work for the book is going to be editing. But finishing the rough draft is an important first step. Worth celebrating!
After I got done dancing, I started prepping for working on the structure. I’ve been cutting up each printed chapter into individual topics, then summarizing the topic on a sticky note and taping the printed text to the sticky note. That will allow me to move the topic around easily.
After cutting, summarizing, and taping, I’ve been putting the topics on a big piece of foam board in sequential order. I’ve finished eight chapters, so only four to go – I expect to finish those in the next couple of hours. After that I’ll start reviewing the structure, looking at the sequence and flow of the chapters and reorganizing topics into more coherent order. Lots of moving sticky notes around!
I’ll have to come up with some kind of system for tracking what topics have been changed and for documenting the whole thing afterwards. I am armed with printable labels and holographic smiley-face stickers 🙂 so I don’t expect it should be that hard. (Don’t laugh about the smiley-faces; I like to add a bit of fun to things, and the selection of stickers at the local grocery store was strictly limited!)
Here’s what the structural analysis looks like so far:
My initial impression is that the structure is pretty crappy. There are tons of nonsequiturs, bold leaps into nowhere, and repetitive parts. Each chapter reads OK on its own, but they don’t go together coherently. Of course, hopefully, that’s what I’m about to fix. 🙂
No progress on card weaving, except that I’ve realized that I botched the initial setup. I’ll have to go back and do a little analysis to see if the situation is salvageable – if not, I’ll have to cut off and rethread half the cards. Hoping I won’t need to, since there is really no chance I’ll finish that during the retreat. (And that’s not a bad thing – more progress on the book!)
Since the cats aren’t with me, I’ll dig into the archives for today. Here’s a scandalous, never-before-seen photo of Fritz and Tigress, battling each other over a cat toy:
Fortunately, all turned out well in the end. Fritz just wanted to chew on the plastic handle, while Tigress wanted to chase the brightly colored string end. As Fritz chewed on the handle, the string end moved, so Tigress could pounce on it. Two cats entertaining each other!