I am one chapter away from completing the first full draft of my novel. I've been one chapter away from completing the first full draft of my novel since September. You see, I had a brilliant system. I pledged to finish a draft of each chapter before going back to revise, and while what I consider a usual first draft has been revised quite a bit already (I'm an as-I-write-it reviser), that left a lot of work to get to a solid first draft at the end. A lot of time passed me by. I wrote the first chapter for my first workshop class back in 2009, if that provides some scope.
As a result, I've been having a bit of difficulty, despite saving all my workshop notes written by myself and others, in remembering what it was I needed to revise. I puzzled everything back together for eleven stories over the summer, but I haven't been able to get through the twelfth. It's a first person story, you see, and no matter how I reorganize and freewrite and plan, I can't get the narrator's voice back inside my head. For third person or second person, its easy. I write the words and usually, the narrator just ends up sounding a lot like me. When I first a story in first person, though, I do it because I can hear someone speaking to me.
And this lady, I can't hear her anymore. She's just gone.
I'm trying to get her back by writing scenes of her life before the present moment of the story and forcing her to tell me what it was like for her. I'm hoping it works. I'd really like to put this draft to bed, so I can start in on the next one. After all, it has to be done for graduation in the spring.