I have learned a lot in my current round of revising my “Mik Murdoch” manuscript.
The very biggest lesson has been not to rush the story. I know I’ve mentioned this, but I sometimes find myself hurrying a story to finish it. It results in glossed over scenes, scenes that end too abruptly or just situations that are unlikely. As you might imagine, I’m getting tagged with more of those at the end of the book than I was at the beginning.
So, I’ve been working for the past several days trying to get to that most sought after page, the last. Except, I keep getting tripped up with little comments like “Expand this” or “Ends too suddenly” or even “Need more here”. What has resulted from these comments is a lot of new writing in the story and very little progress towards “The End”.
I think I’ve added something like 7,000 words in the past few days and I’ve only moved about 12 pages toward the end. That leaves me a little more than 40 pages to go.
At this rate, I’ll add another 21,000 words before I hit “The End”.
I say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek and the story IS much better for all the extra work. I would just very much like to get the story on to the next step.
And now I have a conundrum.
I was trying to get all my edits completed by October 31 so my publisher and editor could take another pass through the book. Since I’m leaving for World Fantasy Convention on October 27th I was kind of hoping to finish by the 26th. That’s today, in case you are keeping track.
With all the new writing, that simply isn’t going to happen. I’m also skeptical that I’ll get a lot of editing done while I’m in San Diego (although it could happen), so October 31 is in jeopardy.
Why October 31?
Two reasons, actually. November 1st is the beginning of NaNoWriMo and I wanted to get writing my next masterwork (no ego at all, right?) AND I told Lorina, my publisher that I was aiming to finish by October 31 so she could move it along.
Well, I’m almost convinced that I will be revising into November. That will delay my NaNoNovel for a week or so but it is still doable. I may be a couple days late getting the revised manuscript to Lorina, but, and this is key, I don’t want to rush it.
If I did, it would put me right back to what got me into trouble in the first place.
So, the lesson here for me is, any time I feel tired and want to rush a scene, step away. Come back fresh and give the scene everything it needs and deserves. It will save me hours of frustration and revision.