Midway through June I posted some anticipated stats for a major revision (which, as you may have guessed, was for my debut novel). This has been my most ambitious revision to date, and was also my first on a deadline. I worked on it every day from the morning I talked through changes with my editor to the day I handed it in to her– not to mention the two and a half weeks beforehand it took to translate the edit letter and all margin notes into a game plan.
Here’s a glimpse of what that revision looked like.
The marked up, hard copy manuscript my editor over-nighted me. Give me ALL THE COFFEE.
How did I make a game plan? Simple. I destroyed my old outline with 8 pens (color coded), tape, and sticky notes.
Then I turned that disaster outline into lists. Nothing was crossed out when I started.
me: Hoooly F I need a calendar. / sis: *runs into other room* *runs back* Do you like PENGUINS?
I made a sticker system. (P.S. That’s my edit letter in the folder.)
Huskies = new scene. Big star = largely rewritten scene. Little star = significant addition/revision, but less than a whole scene. Flower = section completed (even line edits).
I did some math: if I averaged 1.3 items off my Big List every day, that would leave me ~2.5 weeks to read through, streamline, consistency edit, and pick over line edits.
My next list: final read-throughs. Pen = once read, green = twice, red = three+ times.
Guitar break (or: trying to remember how to play things because Neglected Hobby).
Shortly before my deadline, the Perseid shower reached its peak.
I spent a night outside with my Nikon aimed at the sky. See anything interesting in the upper left corner?
How about now (same shot, auto contrast)?
When your head is in a project, it’s easy to miss things. This was a much needed break to stop and drink it all in.