Recently this blog has been mostly reading and not much writing and revising, but lots of writing and revising has been going on behind the scenes. And as a result of it all, I am very happy and relieved to announce that I have reached The End.
You should feel free to cheer and applaud now. I'll bask.
Yes, it's true: I have finished the last chapter of the novel that I started revising more than two years ago. This revision has taken so much longer than I expected, and I have made so many predictions that proved to be laughingly inaccurate. But I see in that post from the beginning that I wrote, "At this rate, I'll be finished approximately never." So I came in ahead of deadline after all!
This is not the first time I've completed THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE. I originally wrote the story in a month for NaNoWriMo, and later I started over from scratch and wrote a much stronger novel based on the same ideas in eight months. I didn't anticipate that I'd be starting from scratch again this time, but I ended up changing far more than I left intact.
When I was making plans for this revision, I thought the second version was sort of close to what the story ought to be. That didn't really take into account that I was already intending to make big, big changes, and I came up with plenty more changes as I went along. Plus, while writing this draft, I worked more carefully on the quality of my prose than I ever have before (or than I ever had the ability to before, since I keep improving as a writer the longer I write). That all took time.
But I'm very happy with what I've produced. I think it's good -- and I hope I still think so once I read it! I know many of you are eager to read as well, but it's not quite ready. As I warned you too long ago, I need to fix some continuity errors and other uneven parts before I share it. I've learned my lesson, and I'm making no predictions whatsoever about how long that's going to take.
For now, though, I'm giving myself the week off to relax, celebrate my birthday, and spend some more time reading.
Good Stuff Out There:
→ Hal Duncan demonstrates How to Write a Sentence: "There are many things you want to say in a sentence, but you can't say them all. Decide between them. There are many ways a thing might be said. Decide between them. There are many words on the shelf, close enough to hand that you could grab any one of them and just chuck it in there. Don't. Stop. Look at those words. Decide between them." (Thanks, Effie!)