I'm into the deathmarch on the revision now. It's getting hard to find room in my head for not-novel stuff.
Only some 4,000-odd words to revise of the rough draft. And then all the new words I need to write to tie things off1. Which will include, you know, an ending, since the rough draft sadly lacked one altogether.
Some of the new words will be snippets, closing or opening paragraphs I couldn't summon the deftness to write at the time. Some are new scenes to replace deleted scenes, or to paper over that enormous plot hole. Some are spaces in the text where I have to go back and change my already-changed text. Yes, that's right. I need to revise my revision.
I'd always thought the point of a revision was to make the necessary changes, and move on. Turns out, my process is a little different. I revise, make unnecessary changes (obviously this is the point at which I fail to clarify what, precisely, is necessary and what is polishing crap), consider the text fixed to first-draft status, and move happily on.
Then, twenty thousand words further down the line, then the epiphany strikes and I realise there's a vital change I needed twenty thousand words ago. A far-reaching change, like deleting a character or altering a motivation.
Still, at least some of the plot dropped in to my head this morning which gives me a better motivation for the !not-ending I have. Now to figure out the real ending.
- Conveniently marked in the manuscript by the phrase OH GOD I DON'T KNOW — NEW STUFF HERE! They make a nice change from the RESEARCH THIS, DUMBASS! comments. Not that I'm an alarmist author at all. [↩]