No, not NaNoWriMo victory. For the first time ever, I won’t be crossing the finish line with thousands of other writers. But that’s a story for my next post because this one is all about the celebration!
I made the announcement on Facebook and, I think, on Twitter, but it occurred to me recently that I hadn’t yet posted about this new development and tonight seemed like as good a time as any.
Have I kept you in suspense long enough? 😉
I finished my rewrite of Facing the Music!!!!! For the first time in over a year and a half, I’ve completed a manuscript!!!!
For as many months as I’ve been consistently–or not so consistently–plugging away at this story, I’m thrilled to have a new draft I can work with on the table. I say new because, in many ways, this story is. If my first draft of Facing the Music set out to be Leslie’s and Evan’s story, then this version is all Evan’s. It starts in an entirely different place, and while it covers a lot of the same events as the initial draft, it covers them in a different order on a very different timeline. And of course, because the protagonist is one person instead of two, the major plot points are handled in different ways, too.
Rewriting Facing the Music was one of those ideas that kind of appeared from the back end of nowhere. After I’d gotten that zero draft down on paper–a process that took two-and-a-half months instead of over twelve–I toyed with the idea of telling a little more of Evan’s story for my own amusement. I thought it might be a character development exercise, something I could use to deepen the story during revisions.
Instead, Evan’s story took on a life of its own. And the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that reincarnation #1 of Facing the Music might become a lot more interesting if Evan was the only character I followed. It was the first time I jumped into something totally headfirst, no figuring out how to connect his beginning with the best parts of the zero draft. Though I did have to stop and outline some about a quarter of the way in, the rewrite was a gamble that totally paid off.
With as much editing as I’ve been doing over the last few years, drafting has become something of a challenge for me. But guys, I LOVED reworking this story. There were so many moments during the process where I could see the character arcs deepening and their separate threads weaving together. Where I sat there cackling to myself like a mad scientist because of how well it was coming together.
Don’t get me wrong; I still have two, maybe three rounds of revisions to do. One of those I’m aiming to start around Christmas, or just after. Those first edits will be my responsibility alone. Then, once I feel like the story is in a good place, I’ll pass it along to my CPs. I have no clue what the timeline is for edit go-round number two. I’m not going to guess. Right now, I’m going to enjoy the mixture of current success and anticipation for the work ahead.