Estimated Days Until Beginning the Fifth Draft (July 29): 2
No stats this week, since I’m not directly working on my manuscript.
Thoughts On Leaving My Book Alone
So…I received my marked-up manuscript last Friday, July 20th. At first, I only read the overview email and ran through the document to make sure the “track changes” notes showed up correctly.
But then, I wanted to make sure I still remembered how to use the “track changes” feature in Microsoft Word (I hadn’t used it since my law firm days).
And then, I just wanted to do a test chapter, just to get a feel for the rhythm.
And then, I wanted to correct all of the grammatical errors and apply smaller changes so I could focus on the bigger issues next week.
And then, I wanted to break down my manuscript, chapter by chapter, and mark it up tentatively for the bigger changes.
Needless to say, I did not leave my book alone this week. While not insurmountable, my book has its flaws, both major and minor. I’m not embarrassed or afraid to admit that. But I did want to set myself up to be able to produce a quality fifth draft for the second round in hopes that the edits from that round won’t feel so daunting.
You may be wondering what my biggest flaws were:
- I switch point of view a lot. A LOT. Doing this within the same scene is a no-no and…your girl was not only doing it within the same scene but sometimes within the same paragraph. YIKES!
- In conjunction with “head-hopping”, I break what would be longer, nicely flowing scenes into smaller, choppy scenes in a half-hearted attempt to make my frequent POV switches clearer. In looking these over, I’ve found a lot of the smaller scenes can either be absorbed into the bigger scene or eliminated entirely.
- I overuse certain words and phrases. A LOT. And many times, the words and phrases I overuse are redundant in the context of the paragraph or scene.
- My comma game SUCKS. Big time.
When I read those first two issues in the overview email, then saw how prevalent they are in my manuscript, I felt overwhelmed. My biggest fear in writing this book was pulling a thread that would unravel my whole story. But upon further study and reflection, those issues can be addressed without harming the story or even really changing it much. Which, my friends, is a huge relief.
Goals for the Coming Week
PRODUCE THE FIFTH DRAFT OF MY BOOK! And then resubmit it to my editor for the second round of edits. In fact, I took the week off from my day job to achieve just this.
Note to Self