Progress Report #20: Theory and Practice

Each time I’ve done work on the “final” outline for the book—I’ve done this several times now—I’ve chopped the story line into blocks that I think make sense. But I always find that when I get into the actual writing, things change.

The chapter I’m working on now, what I’ve been calling Chapter Ten, or “Warm Love,” ended up at 104 pages (double-spaced). That was after the first pass at this, the second draft. Usually, as I make my second pass at a chapter draft, I’m able to shorten it by cutting out both stuff that I know won’t go into the final draft and the redundancies that invariably sneak into the manuscript. Furthermore, I always see myself cutting even more material on the final draft as I discover what’s vital and what’s not. This time, it’s been different. As I’ve made my second pass, the chapter has been growing. When it reached a 110 pages, I knew it wanted to be two chapters. I saw that  there was a natural place to make the division. So now I already have Chapter Eleven (working title “Conquered in a Car Seat”). But I’m still working on my second pass at “Warm Love.”

I’ve begun to enter the heart of the book, and all my old outlines are suffering for it. That’s the way it goes.

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