Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Diary of a Phd Student: Well, I'm still here.

It’s a teenie, tiny, I’m between things on my to-do list and I really should be doing other work right now, sort of update this time. After my recent editing-inspired-meltdown, it seemed like it would be worth checking in with anyone reading to assure them that a) I am perfectly fine and b) I have been through the first and second rounds of feedback provided by my supervisors, and everything is okay. I mean, I’ll be working 12 – 18 hour days forever, but apart from that everything is definitely okay.  

I have a surprisingly manageable shopping list in terms of what needs to be addressed and edited in the second draft of my book/creative element and – if I’m being brutally honest with myself – as yet no one has given me feedback that I haven’t agreed with on some level. There are pacing issues galore and there are about a thousand missed opportunities for making the book richer – in terms of plot and character – than it currently stands.

The critic has taken over now – as if the critic operates as an entirely separate entity inside my writer’s brain – and frankly told the writer, ‘You can do better than this, you know?’

‘Yes, I know,’ said the writer.

And here we are.

The baby steps forward that I’ll be taking over the coming weeks will be to draw up a timeline of my book, as it stands, and then draw up a timeline of my book as I want it to stand. The first steps to fixing a problem are identifying chiefly that a problem exists, and then identifying specifically what the problem actually is – perhaps a slight bastardisation of an old adage, but it certainly works this way when it comes to editing a book.

With that said, if anyone needs me then I’ll be hiding under sheets of A3 paper surrounded by highlighters and two heavily annotated copies of my manuscript – probably trying to work out which piece of action belongs to which chapter, and which chapter belongs in the bin. 

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