I shouldn’t have made that snipe about sticky keys in my last post; it’s coming back to haunt me. The spacebar is taking revenge. And my handwriting could make a pharmacist weep. My eyes are a bit crossed, but I am making good time, considering I seem to be unable to just follow my own slightly-illegible advice: for every note I wrote in the margin, I’m adding or deleting at least one more sentence (and sometimes a paragraph or two) as I type it in. It’s anybody’s guess whether this is an improvement or not, but since I’ve trained myself to get the creative process going these day via sticky keyboard and blurry screen, I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise. I’ve transferred all the conceptual/structural notes to a Word doc as well, and that’s one of many tabs open that I switch between.
This is an interesting process. I didn’t really pay attention the first few times I edited an MS; it was kind of a halfassed, oh-look-I-forgot-a-character sort of process. I made lists, and read for specific things, thinking I’d be too overwhelmed to do all of it at once. I probably wasn’t wrong about that, but the good thing about having written other novels is you learn how to write them without screwing up too egregiously the next time – or at least, your truly egregious screwups are generally new territory instead of previously blazed trail.
Kind of scary, that I can look at this as a good thing.
But it is. I think it means I’m getting better at this. The notes here are all about flow and clarity (and the occasional, inevitable and incredibly stupid spelling mistake. I don’t know why it’s vs. its is such a hard concept for me: I know the difference, but my subconscious always wants to reverse them) instead of plot holes and continuity and the usual embarrassing wait-I-killed-him-three-chapters-back thing that has to happen at least once per book. I’d like to think this means I’ve improved enough to catch this stuff while I’m typing it in for the first time (I am a compulsive edit-as-I-go writer), though the cynic in me is waiting for the other shoe closet to drop.
Still. I don’t feel too horrible about this right now. I should be done – well. I’d like to say in a few days, but I’ve got work Monday and then surgery Tuesday, after which I plan to spend a good 24 hours in a percocet-induced haze, and my husband has standing orders not to let me near the computer until I can say statistics three times, explain the difference between a metaphor and a simile in ten words or less, and walk in a somewhat straight line from the bedroom to the bathroom. And right now I’m off to find myself a decent winter coat and boots, since it refuses to get above 35 during the day and chic leather dusters just don’t quite cut the windchill, sad to say. I plan on puffy knee-length down with a faux fur-lined hood and big, deep pockets. We’ll see if I can find something under $150 that does it for me. So it might be a bit before I get to the end.
But look! My desk is semi-neat. Which either means I’ve lost my momentum or I’m getting organized. Odds are even which.