Later today, I’m resuming my work on my novel, Gray Metal Faces, by drafting mostly new material for the seventh chapter, which will be set in March. It’s been almost a year since my drafting work ended for chapter 6, and while I enjoyed the labor of revising the first four chapters at the end of last year, I’m looking forward to advancing my narrative further.
As usual, I’m starting with only a rough outline and a vague notion of what I’m trying to accomplish in this chapter. Drafting is an exploration, an investigation; if I come out of this with more questions that need to be addressed in a revision than I do with answers settled in the draft, I’ll consider this activity successful.
But I will be changing the pace of my drafts somewhat. In the past, I’ve started a chapter draft or revision and stuck with it, every day, until I was finished; it’s a good discipline, but this approach takes time and energy away from other blogging activity, such as reading and commenting. My goal this time is what I call a 5/2 schedule — five days of Chapter 7 drafts, and two days of other activity. (And of course I’m writing every day, since not writing for me is like not brushing my teeth — I’m not going to fall apart if I miss a day, but I’m not going to feel good about myself.) That schedule should help me avoid that uncomfortable solipsistic feeling that comes with focusing exclusively on my own work.
Well then — enough with the metadiscourse. Time to return to Bark Bay, and see where my team of high school fencers leads me to next.