By the time I head off to bed tonight, I’ll have completed upwards of a third of the revisions for Sand of Bone. Other than a thousand words or so of a new scene I’ve decided to add, the rest of revisions should move more quickly. Fewer alterations, fewer reorganizations, fewer new elements to entwine. That’s a symptom of how I wrote this novel: it took me fifty thousand words to figure out why certain pieces of the plot could and should happen the way I wanted them to, so I had to go back through to make the beginning a better set-up for the middle and end.
It’s a tedious process, incorporating all the little pieces I missed the first time around. Certainly I could just dump in a new scene to introduce and explain most of the pieces I want to slip into place. But taking plot points and worldbuilding from mere scaffolding to breathing story requires a more holistic approach. A shift in cultural expectations affects not only the plot, but what idioms characters toss into conversation. Historical references carry different weight and meaning. One assumption about another’s motivations will alter every subsequent interaction in ways large and small.
Despite the tediousness (and I’ll spare you the logistical process of making and tracking those changes!), I’m enjoying revisions immensely. The world and its characters have always felt real to me, but now I can see it gaining substance others can experience. And as much as I love being a storyteller, I get the biggest kick from knowing my readers are looking forward to turning the next page.
So. I’ll be wrapping up revisions by Friday, then sending it out to my fabulous beta readers. We shall see if my opinion of revisions translates into an enjoyable reader experience. Then I’ll make changes based upon beta feedback, and get the whole thing off to an editor. Based on the last year’s ups and downs, I’m hesitant to give a definitive publishing date, but I’m shooting for the first week of June.