For those of you paying attention to my progress bars on the side, you'll notice that my revisions for The Rising Book 1 (tentatively titled Before the Dark) have passed 50%! I'm pretty happy about that, if I do say so myself. I think this puts me on track to finishing those revisions by the end of April, at which point I'll send it out to a group of alpha readers.
I've been going through at least 4k words of revision a day lately, which has not been as difficult as I thought it might be. Some days are easier than others, of course--a lot of it depends on what part I'm revising, and how much actual rewriting needs to take place. But I'm definitely happy with my productivity level lately.
One of the largest problems I'm noticing with this draft, though, is voice. Character voice, specifically (not my own voice, or style, or whatever you choose to call it). The two main viewpoint characters just seem bland to me right now, and I'm not sure what direction I want to take them, yet. I've always been a fan of fiction with strong character voices--Joe Abercrombie being the master at it as far as fantasy writing is concerned. I'd like to apply that to this novel, but it's something I haven't quite figured out how to approach, yet.
It's easier for me to develop a voice when writing it the first time through, and more difficult to come up with a voice in revision. Unfortunately, I wrote the first draft of this particular novel about three years ago, before I had started the MFA program, and that definitely shows. (For the record, I think I grew a lot as a writer during those two years working on an MFA.)
That said, I don't think this novel is unsalvageable; it will just take some more work. I think I'm just starting to hit the "I'm a horrible writer and everything I write sucks" stage of revision, which isn't fun. Hopefully that is just a stage, in this case, and not the complete truth as far as this novel is concerned. Only time will tell, I suppose.
In other news, I'm still hoping to get a story submitted to Writers of the Future for this quarter...but the deadline is the end of the month, and I only have about 1k of the story I was planning on submitting finished, which I estimate as being roughly 10% of the final story. We will see if I can get anything respectable finished in that time; revision is kind of my master right now, and the novel deadline is more important to me than getting a story in for this quarter. That said, if I don't get a story in, that'll be three months of the WotF contest in which I'm not even competing, which seems like a ridiculous amount of time. Only time will tell on that one, too.
Either way, only thing to do is keep writing.