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The revisions have been going slowly. So slowly that I’d begun to think I’d set an impossible deadline for myself, that there was no way I was going to have the second draft of this ready by the beginning of August.  It was really starting to make me crazy.  After all, when I was doing revisions to Pomegranate House in January, I was blowing through pages and pages of material in each sitting. I didn’t get why I was having such a difficult time here.

Then, about a week ago, I finally figured out what was going on. I’m not revising, I’m rewriting.*  There’s a few parts, like the opening, that I’ve left largely intact, but almost everything else has gone straight to the chopping block.  Truth is, it’s been so long (over 6 years!) since I’ve worked on the second draft of a novel that I forgot what it was like.  And because this first draft was good — not great, but good — I somehow thought that would translate to less rewriting.

This new draft? It’s really good. Still not great, but it’s starting to sing. It’s also falling into place plot-wise.  There’s a big chunk near the end that I’ve been worrying over, because I knew I would need to cut out or completely re-write most of it.  It’s that chunk, in fact, that put me off revising for so long, because I simply had no idea what to do with it.  Now?  I’m not so worried by the fact that most of it is going to hit the cutting room floor and stay there.  In fact, I think the book will be better for it.

What does all this mean for my deadline?  Well, after seven weeks I’m about a third of the way through the original novel, but I’ve written an extra 10,000 words.   I also think my pace is going to pick up a bit, now that I’ve made my peace with the fact that this is a rewrite.  There’s no way I’ll have a completed draft in two weeks, but mid-end August might not be too far outside the realm of possibility.

 

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* I see rewriting as the thing that happens when you take your original scenes and rewrite them completely, adding or subtracting characters, text, dialogue, plot points, etc.  I see revising as the thing that happens when you tweak a word here or there, or maybe sprinkle in a few additional scenes, but otherwise leave the thing mostly intact.  I’m sure different people call these different things, or the same things, but it’s what I mean here, for purposes of this post.