So, remember how I turned in the first draft of Novel #8 to my editor two weeks ago Sunday?
Well, I got her edits back on Thursday. Yes, this past Thursday. So, 11 days after turning in the first draft. Near-record time.
I read the four-page edit letter, nodding along at every comment in it. The problem areas my editor identified were ones I knew existing before I sent her the MS. Areas I didn’t have time to fix because I was already giving her my first draft much later than she’d originally expected me to.
And then I got to the end, where I read this:
I’m looking forward to seeing the next draft with these concerns addressed. I’ll need that from you by 5/21.
Insert image of me with my jaw on the ground.
Now, keep in mind that my editor was kind enough to give me not one but two extensions on the first draft. And from a voice/writing perspective, the first draft was in good shape. (I believe the exact words my editor used were that I “killed it.”). But two weeks isn’t a whole lot of time to fill plot holes and flesh out backstories. Especially not when you work a demanding full-time job.
I conveyed my concerns to my editor. She gave me an extra week.
I’ll take it!
When we spoke on Friday, she didn’t seem to think this revision was as daunting as I did (and still sort of do, to be honest). Her point is that filling in plot holes takes a lot less muscle than restructuring the plot itself. Point taken.
But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared about the ticking clock. I don’t know that I’ve ever had to pull off a revision like this in such a short amount of time.
So now I’m in boot camp revision mode. All minor changes have been made, and the revision to-do list drafted. The next step is doing the writing that will most likely not appear on the page. Sketching backstories to get a deeper understanding of how the characters got to where they are when the novel takes place. Creating detailed schedules for things that I should know more about, even if I’m not showing it all in scene. Once those are finished, I can dive more deeply into Draft #2.
The good news is that with the extra week my editor granted me, I get Memorial Day weekend for my final push. Okay, so there won’t be any fun cookouts or other vacation-y type things I’ll get to do. But a 3.5-day weekend provides a great opportunity to finish up.
Wish me luck!