TWO WEEKS

So, you know how sometimes you’re working on something, and you’re really into it, and you look up and a couple hours have passed? Yeah. Well, I’ve been working pretty intently on my manuscript lately, and the last time I really pulled my head up to see where I was was TWO WEEKS AGO (see previous post).

In the two weeks since my last check in, I have…

  • Completed Draft 3 of WIP
    • (+7,000 words from previous draft)
  • Made a fourth complete pass through the manuscript, tightening and streamlining as I went
  • Decided
  1. I needed to redo the beginning, AGAIN, because I didn’t kill my darling properly the first time and
  2. there are two other scenes that would really benefit from tightening/reworking/total rewrites
  • Rewritten the beginning…twice? Version #3, the current version, started from scratch in a new place, made the opening tighter, more action-oriented, and only kept about half a sentence from previous versions. Also, it was a lot of fun to write. I tested it on a critique partner yesterday and she laughed aloud within the first few sentences, so I’m thinking I’m finally on to something.
  • Edited the synopsis I wrote back in January
  • Drafted my query
  • Oh yeah. Took a random break in the middle and remodeled my blog. It’s green now! And it’s got my name on it!

I originally aimed to be querying by the end of this month, and it’s possible I will still hit that goal, but if not I shouldn’t be more than a week beyond it. Another thing that happened in the last two weeks was this unexpected sort of pressure spike. I felt a sudden,ย intense push to hurry up and get this thing out there, stop sitting on it, stop nit-picking, why wasn’t it good enough already, BLARGH!…and then I talked myself down from it. Again and again you see agents saying to submit your very best work only, and that one of the biggest mistakes made in queries is work submitted prematurely. Reminding myself of those things settled it for me. I will work at this instrument like a madman, but I will not rush submissions. I want to give myself and this book the very best chance we can get, and in order to do that I must first saw and sand and string and restring and varnish this thing until I can make it no better.

The main things left to do before submissions:

  1. Revisit the other two scenes I earmarked. Rework as necessary. Trial and error until right.
  2. READ potential comp titles to make sure they are the best fit (Why didn’t I do this sooner???).

Back to business. If another two weeks go by and you don’t hear from me, send help!

 

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10 thoughts on “TWO WEEKS

  1. Interesting to read how meticulously you work Julie. I’m better than I was but I haven’t (yet) got the ability to sit back objectively and decide to slash whole sections, and insert new writing knowing it will improve what went before. I suppose I’m like a cautious poker player – stick with the hand I’ve got rather than risk everything. Hope it pays off for you.
    Like the blog makeover.

    • One of the best things about writing is that the process itself is a process– always evolving! There was a time when I was loathe to make cuts, especially in sections I’d enjoyed writing and thought were fun to read. But I think over time I have gained the ability to look more objectively at the manuscript as a whole, and now I actually enjoy trimming the fat! Here’s hoping the effort is worthwhile.

      Thanks for sharing about your process– and also for saying that about the recent style change ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. A grueling business this writing thing. Yesterday I deleted a prologue because my editor suggested it. And yes she was right, but man did it hurt. Today I’m working my way through the first chapter *bleh* I realize you should edit as if the whole world is going to read your story, but damn then don’t tell me to write like no one’s going to read it!lol Ah the agonizing doesn’t end, does it. All the best with your submission.

  3. I went back a little ways to catch up a bit but I hope that your work gets published, sounds like you’ve put heaps of good feeling and effort and passion into it. I want to read it!

    • Thanks, Jess ๐Ÿ™‚ The work continues– even after positive responses with queries, I’m actually in the middle of reworking the opening scene yet AGAIN…hah. All encouragement is hugely appreciated meanwhile!

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