Week 3, twenty-five percent.
That’s how much of the book I’ve edited so far. Out of 13 chapters, 4 have been completely rewritten from scratch. Two have been cut. Most of the others have been altered in some way. It’s not as far as I wanted to be, not as much as some other mentees, but I’m pretty proud of what I’ve managed
The scariest part by far hasn’t been hitting delete on all the darlings. It’s been sending back the new words that fill that void.
The book I submitted to PW was the most polished in my life. It had been through multiple self-edits, a dozen readers at various stages, had a few agent looks. And suddenly I was being expected to write BRAND NEW first-draft quality words, and send them to my mentors soon? Without even taking time to go over them for weeks? When I’ve still used some variation of “look” four times in the same paragraph because what are words?
All my confidence, down the proverbial toilet, which is where it feels like a lot of these first draft words belong.
If you want some examples of the work put in so far:
The first two chapters rewritten from scratch to make them more dynamic, clearly establish the place of the two POV characters in the world when the story starts, and provide a more dramatic introduction to the worldbuilding.
Cutting an external ticking clock to focus instead on internal pressure on the MC and her own responsibility.
Aging up the MC, giving her more agency in the world and slightly more maturity in how she approaches things (she’s still quite sheltered, but has more opinions now.)
More emotional and sensory description (still working on this, it will be the main focus of the second round.)
The plan for this week is to get through at least chapter twenty so I can feel like I’m making serious progress (and also get all my kids playing in the same sandbox because that’s my favorite part.)
Craft Resource of the Week
Some of you know I was also in Author Mentor Match with a previous MS, and the founder, Alexa Donne, has one of the most informative and transparent authortube channels around! This is the place to get the publishing insider info most people never talk about.