I probably shouldn’t have been so worried on Monday. Everything’s turning out better, which means that the chapter revisions are actually helping with improvements. Most significantly, I’ve cut the chapter length.
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that the draft was 74 pages when I started with it this week. Besides the fact I have a lot of evidence – which just complicates dissertation writing sometimes, but is generally a useful thing – the big problem was that 14 pages were materials that wound up in Chapter 4 at a later time. I hadn’t realized until the beginning of this month (when I reread all six chapters) that I’d stuck this material in there.
That was the easiest cut. On Monday I got it from 61 down to 57, but it kept creeping on to 58, and I was only halfway through the chapter with my revisions. Yesterday, however, I got it to 49 pages.
I’d still love to have fewer, and I’m sure I will. For the time being, though, I consider this a victory. Also, it’s looking much better overall. The argument is coming through more clearly, which is particularly important.
Today is all about sources. I’m going to spend some time with all the materials in my Zotero files that I’ve tagged as “Chapter 2,” look at a couple of secondary sources, and think about the structure overall. Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll prune and refashion some more.
Then? Then I take a two-week break from revisions to pursue other things, like visiting my grandmother and finishing an article.
AKA: two weeks to close out the summer, then back to the revisions.