(I’m referring to my novel.)
A month ago I finished the first draft, then left my computer at home while we went on our summer vacation to my sister’s wedding and my parent’s house over the course of two weeks. The idea was that I could take a break from thinking about it so that when I came back to edit it, the text would felt sort of fresh.
Mostly I was just freaked right out.
It’s one thing to write a bunch of words on a topic, and yes, I realize that sort of sounds like a humblebrag, but for me it was only moderately difficult to write 78 000 words about a girl who gets sucked into a fantasy world and cannot even deal. Trying to pound those words into something I am willing to flog to any agent or publisher I can find, with the intention that the notoriously rude general public can and should read them, is something else entirely.
Today I finished reading through the manuscript and scribbling all over it. This is a “read-through.” Now I need to go back to the text in Scrivener and apply all the notes I took, like “THIS CHAPTER IS TERRIBLE” and about five hundred places where I wrote “awkward, fix” in the margin. That was quickly shortened to AWK. There are actually a handful of pages where I didn’t mark anything at all, so I consider that a sign that it’s not a total disaster.
I think this next part is the scariest for me. Writing is sometimes difficult, but generally fun. The read through was fun, once I got into it. Trying to sort out how to solve all the plot holes and AWKs and details is going to be really hard and not much fun at all, or so it looks from this side. But we’ll see. After this stage I’m going to pass it off to some beta readers for feedback, which is exciting to me, so I will keep it in my sights.
And for the record I slashed at least 30 instances of “seemed” and 50 instances of “suddenly” and “really” each.