Monday, June 27, 2011

Treatment Plan

So for those of you who don’t know I’m going will be undergoing jaw surgery within the next year or two. I found out last week but I’m working out my treatment plan for now to see what it all entails. I’m both terrified and excited. Terrified because it’s my jaw we’re talking about. Excited because the headaches and jaw pain I’ve had for years could be eliminated.

But I’m not here to talk about my jaw. This pertains to writing… as does most of what I post does.

When writing we all follow our own personal treatment plan. What works best for us, the path we choose, and when to take a break from all the chaos.

I’ll outline. It’s a slim outline but nonetheless a guide to help me when I get stuck.

I’ll write my first draft. For me this is simple. I can knock out words in days. Fast novel written – 7 days (60K), longest written – 20 days (118K).

Here is where it gets tricky. This is where my treatment plan comes into play. Revisionland. I second guess myself constantly. There is no winning for me. I must take a deep breath and continue to push myself. I give myself goals.

2 weeks to read through novel. This gives me a chance to elaborate on anything I might have missed or completely reword and reconstruct sentences.

2 weeks to check grammar and run-ons. I know what I’m bad at so running through my novel once more before sending it off to beta readers is a must.

4 weeks with two beta readers. Only two. These are the two who know there stuff. They can correct my grammar. Show me the telling vs showing I missed. Things of that nature.

2 weeks to correct and revise from beta readers.

4 weeks for chick lit lovers. They are those who don’t write chick lit but adore reading it. For them I allow 4 weeks to devour my book and give me any last minute things to consider.

2 weeks to make changes if necessary.

So there you have it. My treatment plan when writing a novel. Now of course most of these don’t last that long. Even though it’s my personal goal I still strive for excellence before the due date.

What’s your treatment plan?

31 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

My treatment plan? Hmm ... after all that I think I might need a sleep! ;o)

Let me know how you're going via email or something. It's been a while ... :o)

Creepy Query Girl said...

2-4 months, write book.
Let it simmer 2 weeks while I catch up on my to-be-read pile.
Play 56 pick up and clean up the writing first.- about a week.
Then check on pacing, characterization, coherncy, consistency in plot, and tension.- about a week.

Then get beta readers to read it.
Revise/edit with their thoughts in mind. 2-3 weeks

Sarah said...

Still figuring it out. Generally, I'll write the draft in anywhere from 1-4 months. I edit as I go. I tend to send to betas immediately. I revise very quickly. But I switch things up a lot--just this weekend, I sent the first chapter to some betas just to make sure I'm starting the story in the right place, and for this one, I'll send the first three chapters to my agent soon after I've written them to make sure we're on the same page.

Best of luck with the jaw surgery--I hope your recovery is quick and the headaches and pain are gone permanently!

salarsenッ said...

You surely write fast. I think the fastest one for me was 6 weeks. Well, that doesn't include my picture books. Those usually take a day and then a few weeks to perfect.

li said...

Best wishes for your surgery - constant, chronic pain is not just debilitating, it can be emotionally exhausting too. So I hope this clears up your headaches and jaw pains for good! Fingers crossed. (And who knows...you might be able to work it into a book somewhere - I'm a sucker for medical details and such in novels :)

Janna Qualman said...

Best to you through your procedure and recovery, Jen!

Your thoughts are smart ones. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Clarissa Draper said...

Well, I hope everything goes well with your surgery.

I'm so jealous at how fast you write. I wish I could polish off a book that fast. But, I do agree with you, we all have a plan and what works for us.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Crap, I think all of my steps are much longer than yours. Hope all goes well with the surgery.

Beth said...

You write and revise pretty quickly. Good luck w/ the jaw surgery.
bethfred.com

Stephen Tremp said...

Coffee, wine, sleep. In that order. Between, I write and write and write. Not bad work if you can find it.

Meredith said...

I have no treatment plan. Every book takes a different amount of time, and revisions can drag on for months. I guess I just finish when I can't stand it anymore! I hope your jaw surgery goes well! Let me know if there's anything I can do!

Emily Rittel-King said...

If only I could write uninterrupted. But for the days when my kiddos are grown, I'll save this plan and put it into action.
I especially think the four weeks for two beta readers is a good idea. I've wasted time having less qualified editors read my work. They've handed my MS back with two corrections after having it for six weeks. Argh. I love it when I get it back full of red pen. I want it to bleed!

Ellie Garratt said...

OMG. I think my treatment plan needs to be revisited, well...actually I don't have one yet. Excuse me, I'm off to get a little more organised.

Good luck for your jaw surgery. I'm sure the discomfort will be worth it in the long run.

Ellie Garratt

Colene Murphy said...

HA! You make me feel inadequate ;)I need a new writing treatment plan...lol. Good luck on your surgery! Keep me posted on the when and how you're doings!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i use a rough outline as well. That way when i get to the end of a scene and don't know where to go next, the outline saves me

Stephsco said...

What a fast writer! I need to take a cue from you.

Best wishes on your surgery. I had an outpatient procedure on my foot in early May. I found I don't make a good patient; it was really hard to stay off the foot. They didn't even give me a crutch or anything so I was hobbling around for awhile!

Shannon said...

I don't have a treatment plan. Very much a panster. :)

Sorry to hear about your jaw and the pain it's been causing you. Hopefully surgery goes well!

Heather said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you have to have surgery. :( I hope it goes smooth and fixes the problem! I love how you worked your treatment plan into writing, awesome. It sounds a lot like my process. I write the first draft, read through it, print it out and edit, put it in the computer, then read it aloud to my beta reader, enter changes, then send it to my critique partners! Than enter more changes... It's kind of never ending!

Sarah Pearson said...

Treatment plan, umm...I'll get right on that :)

Best of luck with the surgery.

Stephanie said...

Nice plan!!!! I take a little longer than that..though i wish I had more time and could pump it out faster. Maybe when my son starts school???? So looking forward to having an entire day to myself!

Talli Roland said...

Ugh, I don't even want to think about it. Right now, my MS is undergoing some hard core treatment. :)

Teenage Bride said...

Jen I am wishing you the best of luck with all of this.

Aubree said...

ooh, pick me! i actually got jaw surgery...meh i wanna say three years ago? yep, three years ago. my "treatment plan" was whining that i couldn't eat any food and laying around all day watching and rewatching my high school dance team dvd's.

riveting.

Johanna Garth said...

You are an amazingly fast writer. My treatment plan is to write 2k a day until I finish. Then I edit, and re-edit and edit again. After that I give it to my beta-readers take their comments into considerations and edit it yet again. It's all in the editing, baby!

Jennie Bailey said...

Jaw surgery sounds really good right now as I sit here with a headache and jaw pain myself! My treatment plan - usually at least a week on a really detailed outline. Then I dive in. Something will happen that I wasn't expecting, sending the story in another direction so I pause to re-outline. Then I dive back in again. Wow - didn't see THAT coming at all. Time to re-outline. Repeat process until done with book (usually two months). Read through in a week to make notations of what needs to be fixed. A week to fix it. Then off to beta readers. I have two and they get it back to me in a week. Corrections made, things clarified, then off to Crit Group for the heavy duty stuff. After that, I allow myself another week for changes. Loooong process!

Jemi Fraser said...

The surgery sounds scary and exciting! I'll be winging you good thoughts when the time comes!

My plan isn't nearly that organized! I wish it was. Mine goes in spurts because that's the way my life works! :)

Amy Saia said...

Oh Jen, I'm sorry to hear about the surgery. But I do understand how nice it will be for you to get rid of all those headaches.

You write really fast! That's incredible, and also I'm very impressed with the plan you have laid out. Very impressive!

Take care. Keep writing!

Abby Minard said...

Wow, that's short! It took me a long time to write my book, but I had some speed bumps along the way (including moving to a new house which took like, 6 months out of my writing!). It was hard to juggle my time with my daughter and work and all. I'm hoping the next book I write will be MUCH faster. I like your plan. I'm on my 2nd round of edits and after that it will go out to beta readers as I query agents. Good luck, I know we're both almost there!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

wow! I sure wish I could get a novel out that fast! I'm happy if I do it in 3 months...

is it TMJ you're fighting, then?

Laura said...

Hi Jen, Good luck with the surgery, a friend of mine had it a couple of moths ago and she's sooo much better.

I'm just learning about my treatment plan. It seems I average about 3k per day when I'm working, until the story's finished at about 90k. Then... I don;t know because I've never done the next bit before!
Lxxx

Rhonda@laugh-quotes said...

I have to admit that I am still at the "I hope to write a novel someday" stage. I started with blogging. I love reading your blog, I am always learning something.