The good part: I finished revising The Obsessive WIP last night, yay! For those of you who find this sort of thing interesting: I cut 170 pages from the original manuscript and added about 150 pages. It’s standing at 590 pages now, let me see, about 197,000 words. I could cut it more, but I have no major desire to delete anything at this point. We’ll see.
Do I like it better now? I don’t know, maybe, kind of? I like some things better, but I’m sorry to lose some of the scenes I cut, but those scenes did slow down the forward progress of the novel, so I don’t know. Some secondary characters are now a little more developed, which I like, and some stepped farther into the background or even vanished, which I guess is okay.
Agent’s best advice: The protagonist needs to be more central to the action in the last climactic battle. That was true. Plus the essential thing to do was clear immediately, always helpful in revision. (Make the protagonist confront his worst fear.) I did that, and still managed to save a lot of the last climactic battle.
The next thing is . . . my agent also suggested making the secondary protagonist a woman. I will try that and see how it works, because phrases like “more commercial” are persuasive even though I’m not super keen on the switch. As a man, this character is complicated and, it turns out, surprisingly feminine. That femininity immediately becomes both obvious and stereotypical if I change him into a woman. That, I don’t like at all, especially because it makes the male protagonist instantly look more stereotypically male as well. I’m considering ways to prevent this. One method has occurred to me, but I don’t necessarily like it and I’m not sure it would work anyway. I may try a couple of different things.
The less-good part: Not a disaster, but I definitely won’t be bringing Door Into Light out this year. It’s too late to do it before Christmas, and immediately after Christmas strikes me as a terrible time to bring out anything. The cover artist is behind due to, I believe, circumstances beyond her control, and I am taking this as a sign that I have plenty of time for one more round of copy edits. Did you know how easy it is to spell “soldier” as “solider”? And of course spell check won’t catch that. Going over it again won’t hurt, and anyway —
Just a note, but KDP is possibly having issues with printing paperbacks. The file I loaded is fine, but the proof copy they sent me this time has repeated chapter 17. I need to make sure KDP is printing accurate copies before hitting the go button and I don’t have time to deal with that right now, so —
The bottom line is, I’m looking at next year for Door Into Light. But earlyish next year! I will let you all know how that progresses.
Meanwhile: I have the last part of the revision to do for my Other WIP. If I can ONLY get ALL revisions finished BEFORE Christmas Break, I can take a stab at writing the 4th Black Dog novel, Copper Mountain, over Christmas Break.
Realistically, that won’t happen. Christmas Break starts on the 15th, or on the 14th if I happen to decide to take off Friday, and so there’s just no possible way. But I have every hope I can get all revisions finished before January 1, which would give me two weeks of the break left to take a stab at getting Copper Mountain at least moving….