I know what you’re thinking, Didn’t she finish the book like three weeks ago? This is where the ‘for certain values of’ comes in.* I finished the complete new draft a few weeks ago. Yesterday I finished the rework-the-new-sections-to-make-sure-they-don’t-suck part. Now I’m doing the go-through-the-dear-god-how-many-change-notes-did-I-make? part.
You may notice the slight level of panic in that. I knew I’d made a few notes I should deal with before I passed this draft on to my beta readers, but when I pulled them up there were pages of them.* I was promptly filled with a feeling of dismay and ennui. Which is ridiculous. But, you know, I am a ridiculous person.
And when I started actually dealing with them I realised they were mostly minor fix requests of the rewrite this line, cut this bit, word duplication variety. Mostly.
Me: I have a note on this piece of text that says, Rewrite this to make it clearer. And I’m looking at it thinking, What’s not clear about that? Which is a little worrying.
Arkem: At least that’s better than the reverse. Looking at it and thinking, I have no idea what this says.**
A lot of these notes were made when I was working in the middle of the night and I couldn’t quite face being competent so I just left messages for myself about things I should do when my brain was back online. This is my explanation for why some of them are surprisingly abstract.
My favourite so far though is, Cut on account of not really true. Technically I guess that could apply to the entire novel…
Aaand the comment on the last line of chapter four is, What is this even? That’s very reassuring. I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. And I am going to do it now. Going…
* Well, okay, the screen I look at them on is about two inches wide so ‘pages’ is not as scary as all that. Still.
** I have actually done that before. I came back to something for the second draft and was halfway through reading the scene before I remembered the point I was trying to make. That’s like a neon flashing REWRITE ME sign. And is where having time between your first and second draft is invaluable.