Since the last time I met with my critique partners, I've added six more chapters to my early chapter book. Means that I have a total of 10 (first draft) chapters! Each chapter is about 500 to 900 words. I should be happy. I should be celebrating. But instead I'm all stressed out about it.
This is the most writing I've ever done on one project. Most of my writings have been picture books, essays or blogs — no more than three to four pages. Tonight, I printed my manuscript out; it's more than 40 double-spaced pages! And I'm only about a quarter way finished (I know this probably sounds like too large an early chapter book, but I plan to cut way back).
Reworking a chapter book is going to be a much bigger bear than reworking a 1000-word essay, picture book, blog or cartoon. So the deeper I get into this first draft, the bigger a problem I feel like I'm creating for myself later on down the line, when it comes time to rewrite and revise — nevermind all my grammar issues and creative punctuation.
My writer friends would probably advise me to keep plugging away, to continue writing that first draft without looking back. But I can't. I feel like I need to fix a few things. I mean, my MC's younger brother is a baby in chapter one, a toddler in chapter three, and 7-years old in a later chapter. I can't make up my mind on how old he should be. Shouldn't I at least determine this kid's age before I move on?