Chapters edited: 31 out of 35
Days to deadline: 38
This may look like home-free but there's still a lot of work to do. The ending needs to be ripped apart and put back together in a different order to make it stronger. I was relying on too many convenience circumstances to make it work.
I spent about three hours going over the first thirty chapters this weekend. I made a note of every set-up and subplot to make sure nothing got dropped.
Then I spent another three hours re-plotting out the ending, taking into account the editor's observations and suggestions. Again, I'm seeing the benefit of some time away and a fresh pair of eyes. Because now I can see several obvious ways to tighten things up without having to completely rewrite.
What I have to do now is more like rewriting than editing. I'm pulling scenes and parts of scenes out of their original order and putting them back in a more coherent package. But it means I have to be super alert to keep the continuity consistent. I find what works best for me is to copy and paste a few sentences at a time into a new blank document and then go through them word by word. Once I'm satisfied, I replace the entire original block of text.
With the end of the chapter by chapter edit in sight, it's time to start thinking about my time management. I have to go through the entire thing again to search for overused words (I have a list), search for possible cuts (the story is now 7000 words longer than when it started), make sure the overall plot and world-building issues have been dealt with and do a scene by scene analysis to make sure my pacing is still consistent.
I want to take a week away from the story before I plunge into final cuts and the plot and world-building issues. I'm not sure whether to do the word search before or after the break. I find the search and replace scans to be the most tedious part but I have to be careful not to rush through it, so I need to be in a good frame. Maybe I'll just wait and see where I am when I get to THE END.
Since I've made such good progress, I should have the option of taking a week away. I can start ripping apart my first draft of my ghost hunter short story during that time to keep my brain completely clear of Revelations.
I should also tackle a few business issues. I've officially registered with the IRS and in a few weeks, I'll have to send in my request for tax exemption based on the Canada-US Income Tax treaty. I need to start requesting reviews and follow up on my cover blurb requests.
It's not quite as simple as just writing a good book and putting it out there.