I ain’t done.
This morning I reached Chapter Sixty-Three (of 93 total). About 10 days ago my proofreader offered to extend my deadline to April 3rd. After some dithering, I accepted her offer.
One main reason: More time is good. (But not too much.)
You think writing the book itself is work. You think the first revision is work. And the second. By the third, you’re reaching for the whiskey b/c every word you write is trash.
But the revision after an editor’s looked at it and shone a light on all the weak bits? /sigh
So what’s taking me SO long?
- I’m literally going line by line re-reading and either accepting (90% of the time) or rejecting edits made.
- Addressing comments made by my editor on various phrases, paragraphs, etc. I delete those comments once I’ve fixed them.
- Postponing work on her comments depending on how much dedicated effort it feels like it’ll take. For example, I’m not touching any chapter/scene beginning or ending hooks until I’ve gone through the entire book. I leave those comments in (so I can find them again).
- Making my own comments (I’m talking about Word’s “comment” function) on:
- Consistency & continuity: For example, Odin has two wolves (Freki & Geri). Initially both were the default male. Then, b/c wolf packs are matriarchal, one became female. About halfway thru that change, I switched which wolf I wanted to be female. Yes, I’m an idiot.
- Bad writing or writing I particularly dislike but can’t figure out how to quickly fix
- Obscure writing that even I don’t understand and/or remember what I meant.
- Time & timelines. Odin says he did something 2 nights ago. Is that correct? Different characters referencing the same backstory events–are their references consistent with each other? Do I want that event to be twenty winters ago? Does “twenty winters ago” fit with other events? This is a giant PITA.
- Completely or partially rewriting some scenes and chapters.
- Sometimes I’m cruising along accepting/rejecting and I hit a snag.
- I tug on the snag and sh!t unravels. Then I spend three days rewriting.
- Some of those changes are just b/c I didn’t like the writing. Some are b/c I didn’t like what was happening — action, setting, motivation
- I think the scenes work better after the changes…but then I still need to go back over them again (so I leave track changes on otherwise I’ll forget what I did).
I’ll finish this round of review by March 5. No matter what. That’ll give me plenty (!) of time to focus on the items I postponed. I’ll have to prioritize that stuff — but that’ll wait till next week.