Novel Progress Update

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Time to update you on the progress I’ve made on my novel The Art of Being Vulnerable. While I know I don’t have a pretty synopsis or any mock back cover copy for you to read, this is where I’m at so far.

Total word count: 33,593

It was much longer at the end of the first draft in July of last year, but I’ve cut some unnecessary scenes and only made placeholders for the ones I need to add in the next few weeks. Adding scenes is easy for me if I have an agenda for each scene, so this is not a huge concern for me at the moment. My word count will increase quite a bit over the next few weeks.

Total number of scenes: 28

This is a rather small number, given the events in the novel. Some of these scenes will be broken down into multiple scenes. I haven’t decided on chapter divisions just yet.

Second Draft Deadline: July 1, 2016

My first draft was nothing more than a hodgepodge of scenes I wanted to include in my final work. In the past 11 months, I have changed (or rather, found) the story line, added and removed several scenes and ramped up the character development a little. I’m looking at editing approximately one scene per day for the next few weeks.

Framework: This is by far, the hardest part of writing for me. Structure has always thrown me for a loop, but after reading Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, I feel I finally have a clear understanding of what my story should look like. Just recently, I was able to map out my plot and find a workable story structure. This was a huge development for me. Finding information on how to structure plot-driven stories is almost everywhere, but when I started looking for help on character-driven stories, as The Art of Being Vulnerable is, things got a little tricky. Thankfully, Story Engineering was able to help me through the murky waters of structuring a character-driven novel.

POV concerns: I’ve been writing in 3rd person and it is definitely the POV I prefer, but I’ve had some second thoughts concerning the depth. Most books I’ve read that had a deep POV were written in first person, but if I can manage to get the depth I’m looking for in third person, I’ll keep it. If not, I’ll be doing an epic edit of my novel in the future.

Recent Research: I’ve recently been researching social anxiety to develop Declan’s struggle. I’ve found information on symptoms, how it affects the lives of people who have it, and how patients cope with it. This means that everything from sponsored Pinterest suggestions to ads on Pandora are all actively tying to sell me ways to help with my anxiety or depression. Thankfully, I am not in need of such help, I’m just a writer.

Up next: In the next few weeks until my deadline of July 1st, I will be adding the text to scenes that are placeholders, fleshing out my characters, and weaving a few hits of subplot for one character who is a little underrepresented. Once I see where the second draft has left me, I’ll decide if it’s off to an editor or if it needs another revision before I take that plunge. Either way, the week of July 4th will be a vacation away from editing.

Is there something you want to know about The Art of Being Vulnerable? The editing process? Anything I’ve mentioned? I’ll be happy to answer any questions I can (without giving away too many spoilers), so please don’t hesitate to ask!

Post Author: Frances Wentworth

Writer, book lover, starter of many projects...INFJ Super Frances flies by the seat of her pants!

2 Comments on Novel Progress Update

Whitney McGruder said : Report May 27, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Seems like you've accomplished a lot and you have even more to figure out. #storyofmylife. :)

frances.riehl@gmail.com said : Report May 27, 2016 at 5:53 PM

Thank You! I know I have a long road travel yet, but each time I can cross something off the to-do list, I have renewed energy for my novel.

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