Progress Report #64 on my book project, “Street Song”

For the last five years, all of my work has been directed toward researching and expanding my material. But I’m finally turning the corner. A few days ago, having finished a rough outline for the last draft, I saw that it would be best at this point to go ahead and fine-tune it. So much has to go. The draft I’ve been working on, the second draft, stands at around 1000 manuscript pages, which is around 800 book pages. The final version is to be around 325 book pages. It can change, but that’s what I’ve always envisioned it coming in at. This is my favorite part of the work: crafting and compressing. I’m spending a few days reorienting my mind toward the new task and then getting on with it. I see around two more years of work ahead of me.

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2 Responses to “Progress Report #64 on my book project, “Street Song””

  1. Richard WIlliams Says:

    I’m glad to hear someone who enjoys the second or third drafts of writing projects. I am currently working on a first draft and I’m hoping it will be easier to craft when I have a completed manuscript before me. It’s something I have been wrestling with as I attempt to complete a novel after many aborted projects.

    Unlike yourself I research on the lamb, that is, I have a vague idea what I am writing about, but expand upon my knowledge as it becomes relevant to my work. Subsequently I have found first drafts to be one great collective struggle between creativity and fleshing out a brief synopsis in a stream of conscience trying to get from A to B whilst retaining an immersive backdrop.

    Reading that little update has reinvigorated me. I have always been under the illusion that the first draft would be a majestic reimagining of what my mind had created. In reality, it is incredibly difficult to gain traction and flow when your working with the skeleton of a story, the end result has been a bland and pale immitation of my own short story prose.

    When its finally complete and in front of me and I know where a chapter is going down to its component parts, I hope I’ll be able to craft and compress and fine tune my draft into something that I feel will do me justice, if nothing more.

    I hope you enjoy the process of fine tuning your own creation.

  2. markbittner Says:

    Yes. First you get the basic idea down. But to get your true voice going—something I expect just to happen in the freedom of that first draft—requires a real struggle. It has its rewards.

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