This week and next week are for major structural revisions. We’re talking quite major here. Were this an architectural project, I’d be doing something akin to replacing spiral staircases with glass elevators, and installing fireplaces in place of heating ducts. Sure, it would be relatively simple were I just changing the artistic renderings. But elevators and fireplaces require the installation or creation of all sorts of things that’ll be hidden behind panels and walls, and its the hidden things that make the obvious and visible function at it’s best. That’s what has consumed my time.
Plot is easy. Story is hard.
If I do it properly and well, if I take the time to do it right, maybe the reader won’t notice. Maybe it’ll look effortless. And I want it to seem that way. I want the story to capture and resonate. Yeah, I put in little connections and hints and call-backs, but I’d prefer they work without distracting the reader with their presence.
I don’t want to be a clever writer (which is good, because I am not clever). I don’t want to be a writer-as-character in the story. I want the story to be for the reader.
So. The tentative schedule goes something like this:
Between now and next weekend, I need to retrofit the existing manuscript. This includes stripping out a subplot that not only wandered into the hinterlands but tried to drag the main plot with it, replacing those chapters with what will actually work, and reordering some of the remaining pieces so they fit better into the structure. I estimate it’ll take about 20K words of new material.
Then I really want to take another week to make one more pass before sending it along to beta readers.
Then I shall send it to my beta readers. I suspect I’ll do a great deal of compulsive cleaning and packing around that time.
Then I fix All the Things.
Then I get a proofreading, and fix All the Other Things I screwed up while fixing All the Things the first time.
Then I format.
Then I send it out into the world!
Newsletter subscribers will get a release-date heads up–and access to a discounted price at Amazon*–before I make the general release announcement. (How do you get the newsletter, you ask? Why, you can sign up right here!)
And once it’s out there in the wild, I will again throw myself into packing and cleaning, which will likely distract me from the nail-biting wait to see the early reviews.
Thank you for your patience and encouragement, my darlings. I promise the next one won’t take nearly so long to get to your hands.
Yes, I did say the next one. There will be more. Hee.
*Why only Amazon? Because when I make pricing changes, Amazon responds in a timely manner. Other retailers and distributors take their long, long time. Amazon’s response time is measured in hours, other measured in days and days.