With only three weeks left until RWA National Convention, I’m working hard to meet my goal: to finish my latest project before I leave for Orlando. With about sixty pages left (And probably thirty or so pages in additional scenes to write) I can definitely see the end in site.
Though, I think I’ve done a good job of tightening up the middle and combating any “sagginess” I am coming up on my favorite part of this story — and really any story — the end. The apex has been reached, and the characters are sliding into what will hopefully be an emotionally satisfying ending. It can also be bittersweet, knowing my time left to form these characters and their stories is nearing the end. It will soon be time to send them out into the world and move on to something new.
And even though I must admit a preference to crafting a new tale, there is something satisfying about the editing process. Rounding out the rough edges and polishing up the lackluster words is very much a part of the process — it is the real work of the craft.
It’s in this draft that I can really give dimension to the my characters too. Since I am a seat-of-the-pants writer, sometimes I’m only see sketches of the characters in the beginning. It’s only when I hit the mid-point of my rough draft do they become like old friends. Sometimes it’s not until the two-thirds point that completely understand the motivations for all their actions. So, it in the rewrite — or second draft — stage that I can take what I’ve learned and apply it to the first half of the book, giving it a depth that is often missing in the first draft.
It is also where I can sprinkle in foreshadowing and bits of teasing.
When I hit those mystic words this time, I will not be completely done. I will then set the book aside for about four weeks while I work on a synopsis and query letter and then begin fine tuning the idea — maybe even writing — the next book. After four weeks, I will read the book again from beginning to end, hopefully not finding too much to fix. And then I’ll begin the querying process and hope to achieve the next step — the sale.