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Thursday, February 28, 2008

PROGRESS REPORT #30: TIME LINES


Ah, those "time lines" ... from the goals you set for yourself to the ones you might be following in your historical fiction plots.
In both cases I seem to have myself in a bit of a snaggle, although I think now I'm untangled and ready to proceed.

What with doing editing for my travel web site, teaching classes, attending events and just plain dicking around, I seem to have fallen a bit behind in my own 'time line'. I'd hoped to have the novel wrapped up at the end of 2007. Then I extended the date to the end of January. Now, once again, extending my finish date to some time this Spring.

I got a little messed up with the sequences of events in the novel. Had written a couple of excellent scenes then discovered I had the 'time lines' wrong. What to do? Did it mean I'd have scrap those pages I'd already written or what? I stewed about it for about a week, tried proceeding the way things were, but seemed to be stuck. So finally I decided to take the manuscript out, look back over the previous chapters, and figure out what was the best way to untangle myself. In the end, it was only a minor flaw. I had the arrival of Kassandros back in Macedon placed too early and therefore the rest of what I was writing was not logical. It meant only that I had to cut and paste two pages of a chapter segment and do some small rewrites on the other segments I'd already written. And once I had that sorted out I was able to do that without too much fuss and tinkering. Now I'm ready to proceed again.

Meanwhile, I've been feeling pretty miffed because the school board seems to have screwed up my Spring schedule for classes by neglecting to put in two of my classes, allowing me only one (novel writing) and a night-school-in-one-day class (for which they haven't even sent me the contract). And it seems the programmer is bent on destroying my Fall schedule too. So I've been in a bit of a stew this week, feeling really upset about this mess-up. Hopefully it will be rectified. At least today I met with my Memoir group and they've decided to carry on independantly for the next month until the Spring session starts in April. And no doubt they'll want to carry on at least until the end of June as well. I've also applied to do a twice a week workshop for the VSB during the month of July. Of course it depends on enrollment as to whether the classes go on or not. I can only keep my finger's crossed and hope they do.

This weekend I'm going to school myself -- a one day workshop on editing at Simon Fraser Univ. downtown. This will be a major help to me when I have to do the final edits on my novel, so I'm quite excited about it. I'm also planning to attend another all-day workshop on March 14th which is "from the desk top to the publishers". It's good to be able to take some courses for my own professional development and I'm sure they will be very useful and stimulating.

So, onward and upward! As they say : If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
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6 comments:

Father Park said...

A copy of Diodorus, 18 through 20, would help. As well as confuse.

I wouldn't be attempting things without it though...

Meghan said...

Even pros like yourself struggle with chronology in historical fiction? So it's NOT just me! I was feeling downright sorry for myself for a time. Looks like you've got it under control though which is great.

Wynn Bexton said...

Well yes, thanks. I am constantly struggling with the chronology of historical events. Partly because there are a lot of varying reports.

And yes, a copy of Diodorus would be handy. I don't know why I haven't one already in my research library!

Father Park said...

Wouldn't attempt re-creating the times without the only constant literary source for the events at hand.

But that's just me.

Perhaps it explains my lethargic interest in historical fiction for the great part.

Ceased buying Pressfield's stuff after "Tides of War". Although the bloke attempted too great a sweep (the Peloponnesian War), he failed (in my view) to realise his major character: Alkibiades. This was the greatest self-serving, aggrandising and duplicitous bastard God ever put breath into.

Marie said...

I know how you feel. I thought I'd finish my novel by the end of 2007 but now I'm hoping to get it done by the beginning of summer.

Good luck.

Wynn Bexton said...

Hi friends, well, Father Park, I did manage to untangle that mess without tamping too much with the 'facts' (as the are). Back to work on it today after a busy couple of weeks with lots of editing for my website and classes.

Megan, I am falling behind my schedule again but hope to catch up now. Classes are finished this week and I have the new stories ready to post on my travel web site so I can focus more completely on Shadow.

Watch for a new blog update soon.