See, it was my GOAL to finish the current WIP and cut 100 pp before August 20th (classes started today, see, so back to work!). But that was not a PLAN. ‘Cause a plan is kind of a commitment, whereas a goal is just a goal, see.
So! I’m glad to say that I have indeed finished the current WIP! So far I have cut about 60 pp. More importantly, I have done the hard cutting that involves thinking. I cut chapters 5 and 6 entirely and knitted up the raveled edges, connecting the back of chapter 4 with the front of what used to be chapter 7. This required a certain amount of thought, as you can imagine. But we now get to the exciting part much faster!
I would still like to cut about 15,000 words — about another fifty pages — but a whole lot of that will be at the brainless read-and-cut-words level. Very little actual thought. A few changes will need to be made to be consistent with the stuff I changed in the early part, but not for a while and not too much.
Then I will read it straight through from front to back. That will actually be the first straight read-through. Hopefully I will find I like the ms! Although I will be trying to tighten things up a bit more and be working on characterization, that’s the part where I will actually be concentrating on catching all the inconsistent tidbits and fixing them. I think I have a fair knack at this, luckily.
Finally I will go through and deepen character arcs. Sigh. That is in fact something I always work really hard on, and I always wind up going through multiple times and thinking hard about things like: is this enough of a relationship between these two characters? Really? Does this other character change and grow from the front to the back? Really?
That is the stage at which I get both bored with the ms and unable to judge it; that’s when I finally send it to my agent. Her fresh take on it is SO VALUABLE, I can’t even tell you. Then usually one or sometimes two revisions after that.
Can’t wait to tie this one up with a bow and send it off. I haven’t worked too hard and thus am not feeling like I need a break to whittle down the TBR pile — I’ve been reading fiction right along and actually the TBR pile is amazingly small, only about forty books left on it — but in fact I have another ms I really want to pick up as soon as I’m done with this. So! New goal: to have this one sent off to my agent by the end of the month. Actual plan: to do that not later than the end of September.
If I get started on my other new ms. by the beginning of November . . . maybe I can actually get that one finished over Christmas Break? That would be great! (But it’s not a plan. It’s not even really a goal, till I see how it moves after I pick it up.)