The End of A Round of Words in 80 Days - What. I. Did.

Usually on the end run of a marathon or challenge I'd be there in the trenches logging hours and hours of writing or editing (as I did with NaNoWriMo last year (though not the year before!)).

This time around, though, I'm doing overtime at work, so the last week of A Round of Words in 80 Days is a washout. Nearly - I woke up this morning with a fully formed scene and scribbled it out on the train ride in. It's so easy, suddenly, to write, when I'm supposed to be editing.

On the other hand... the weekend looms large with no plans. I hope to print out the entire ms of Out of the Water, hole up in a coffee shop (hopefully they have decent music playing) away from everyone and the internet, and:

1. rewrite chapter 1
2. condense all of the scenes between the time Rosa and Baha have their first, ahem, encounter, and the time they get married/arrive in Constantinople
3. line edit the last 90 pages
On the other hand, as Kait says, ROW80 is all about what we did accomplish, and I definitely did a lot more editing than I might have without a challenge to keep me in check - half the novel is in way better shape than it was back in January. Lots of smaller scenes were edited even further so that I could share them on my blog or on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community. I've, currently, a fairly long scene of romance and tension up on the Compuserve site, if anyone would like to take a peek.

The novel has bloomed this past 80 days, from c. 120,000 words to nearly 150,000. I hope that this will make the next round of edits easier, as I have so much room to cut words. I snipped off nearly a hundred in the past week or so as I trawled through and deleted many of the -ly adverbs, and the word 'only' from as many places as possible. Discovered in the process that I sure use the word 'family' a lot!

All of this has left me in good shape, I think, for Round 2 of ROW80. This time around, I'd like to focus more on the research side of things, so that I can remove all the pesky square brackets ("she added [wood chips] to the [brazier] and sat on the [divan] to remove her [salvar]"). It's always the small details that require the most research: how much time does it take to sail from Thessalonika to Constantinople? What kind of boots would a 15th Century Spanish girl wear? What do you call a waiter in a taverna in Ottoman Greece? How big/small is a cabin on a caravel? How do you wash wooden or pewter dishes? And so on...

Other stuff:

My review of The Wrong Target by Sherry Gloag is up on the One Hundred Romances Project.

Lots of exciting items to bid on over at Write Hope - all proceeds go to Save The Children's emergency relief fund for Japan.

Michael has a Harry Potter blogfest on next week! Which two characters would be your best mates if you attended Hogwarts?


alberta ross said…
It seems you did well this round - I found ROW80 helped keep me focussed and aware of passing time - so happy editing - (it's detail I find fascinating) - see you in April
Zan Marie said…
You got a ton done! Don't fuss about what you have left. You've focused and did the work.
Lola Sharp said…
Well done!

Yeah, I always have great ideas for a new project when I'm editing something else.

And, I wish I could wake up with a full scene. I never get that lucky. I have to fester think fester. And then fester some more. o_0

Congrats on all you've done. :)

Solvang Sherrie said…
I think all the creative juices spill over when you're editing and you find new things you want to write about. Sounds like you did good with ROW80, though.
Anonymous said…
Great job this round! All of your brackets had me giggling. If only we knew everything we'd get the writing done a lot faster!! A round of research and editing sounds great to me at the moment. Good luck to you!
Anonymous said…
Ha! Love those brackets. I know what you mean- I'm a stickler for realism too (surprisingly, not everybody is). Yes, ROW80 is about personalized accomplishments, and also, I'd say, about learning about ourselves as writers. And congratulations on your accomplishments!
C.Farrell said…
Well done on everything you accomplished this round. I kind of feel like this round was the warm-up and set us all up for the next part, for some reason. I love the research, I have to limit my time on it because I go off on a tangent and end up looking things that have absolutely no place in anything I've written. :)
Melissa Bradley said…
Congrats on all your progress. I know what your mean about the small things needing the most research. It's frustrating, yet fascinating, too. Good luck and have a wonderful weekend.
Jenn said…
Wow, sounds like you accomplished a lot in Round One! And your manuscript sounds like a fascinating read--I love historical fiction because I learn so much from it without even realizing it. Which I guess is why all that research is necessary, huh? ;) Celebrate all your accomplishments and can't wait to see what you've done in Round Two.
oh wow good luck Dee, I just wanted to say thank you again. I just spent my amazon card on some craft books.
Anonymous said…
Great progress!

I've never tried writing in a coffee shop before. I should try it someday.

Have a great weekend.
Susan Fields said…
Wow - 150,000 words - that's quite an accomplishment! My previous wip is 100,000, and I find that overwhelming, especially when it comes to edits. My current wip is 55,000 - a much more manageable number. :) Good luck with the editing!
CathrynLouis said…
You've done great this round! I also find that writing ideas pop into my head when I'm editing or rewriting - usually when I get close to the end. :) See ya in the next round!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for all the support everyone! Makes me feel as though I maybe have accomplished a little something. Maybe by the next round of ROW80 I'll be finished editing!
Yes, research is all about those pesky details...even funny things, like "when was Facebook launched?"

I have some of my characters doing a bit of Internet stuff, so it's good to know these things, since my story takes place in the Year 2000-2001.

So, yes, no Facebook.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and good luck with the next round!
Deniz Bevan said…
It's true Laurel - sometimes the most seemingly innocuous stuff requires research. Things you think you know but have to double check anyway...
Rebecca Dupree said…
You have a beautiful picture at the top of your blog! I just wanted to tell you. Nice post!
Deniz Bevan said…
Aw, thanks Rebecca! It's an old house-turned office, where I used to work in Istanbul.

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