Greetings, all. By the time this post publishes, What Doesn’t Kill You #8 will be twenty-five days away from submission for its first round of editing, what is called “developmental” or “content” editing. This is the stage where the rubber meets the road. The story is critiqued, suggestions given, and changes called for. I started rewrites only a week ago with a hot mess of a first draft, completed 100% by recording with no written reference to turn to during the project.
Oh em gee.
It was hard. And the draft has been a challenge to work with for rewrites. Enter my hero and story partner, my husband Eric. He read the whole thing through and made suggestions. I compiled his suggestions, my running “notes” (a la change the villain to X, add red herring Y, etc., to the tune of about 150 major and sometimes conflicting ideas), and the notes/suggestions of the transcriptionist (romantic mystery novelist Bobbye Marrs) into the precisely-right places in the draft, rearranging sections that were out of order as I went. Then Eric and I talked it through, and I dove in. I made a daily progress chart—it’s so motivating and satisfying to plot progress, and it keeps me on track to know exactly how much I have to get done each day—and got to work.
I’m 30% of the way through. And you know what? It’s not going that bad. I’ll be a much better writer voice-to-text next time from what I’ve learned. I’m going to finish on time, or ahead of time. I have gotten into the voice of my protagonist (Michele) and of most of the other characters. The story will be as solid as I ever send to developmental edit. And I’ll be mentally drained when it’s through. Physically, too.
So from now until June 15th, I’m not going to be able to resume a normal blog schedule. I’ll post something weekly, but I won’t get back to my character interviews, book club questions, and V-logs until then.
I anticipate posting a very raw first chapter, for blog subscribers only, the last week of this month.
Until next week,