For months I have been dying to be finished with my first draft. “Y’all are so lucky,” I said to my crit partners. “I would give anything to be editing right now.”
Oh, Kristan. Be careful what you wish for.
My original plan was to take a day off — yes, ONE DAY — and then dive right into edits. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Let’s just say that when you spend over a year drafting a book, you’ll probably need more than 24 hours to rest, let it sink in, figure out what and how to edit, and oh yeah, catch up on all the non-writing stuff you neglected in order to claw your way to “The End.”
So I ended up taking the entire month of February off. By “off” I mean that I did extra research, and some brainstorming and game planning, and a lot of thinking deeply about my characters and their story and the larger series I’d like it to be a part of. “Thinking deeply” probably sounds like hooey to most non-writers, but the truth is, it’s one of the most valuable and motivating parts of the process, at least for me. And now I’ve got a month’s worth of that inspiration and energy stored up inside me, ready to burst, ready to be channeled into the edits.
But there’s one more hurdle I wasn’t expecting.
The last step of preparation that I wanted to take was to read over my entire manuscript on my Kindle. No fixing typos, no deleting or rewriting. Just me experiencing the story as a reader, to see where it really stands and to wrap my mind around it as a whole.
But holy crap it’s weird!
So weird to read when I know what’s coming. And not just what happens, but the exact words that will be used to describe it. So weird that I can’t even get through the first chapter. Not because it’s bad (although it might be) but because it’s just so… weird. So very very very very weird.
For some reason rereading Twenty-Somewhere didn’t throw me the same way. Maybe because it was written for the web originally, and I approach online writing with a different mindset. Or maybe because it’s been two and a half years now since I wrote that “The End.”
Regardless, I’ll have to find some way to push through the weird, and through the edits, so I can finally move on to the next step: querying. Man, all you writers who are querying are so lucky. I would give anything to be querying right now.