This is my fourth year of participating in the Clarion West Write-a-thon. (It also marks the fourth anniversary of this website, since being able to post weekly updates, as well as having a complete professional profile for the Write-a-thon, was an added incentive for setting up my own author site.) As mentioned in the goals section of my Write-a-thon page, I would have preferred to be drafting something new during the next six weeks, since it’s easier to get a real sense of accomplishment when you can count words or chapters written, but finishing the final edits for She-Wolf has to be my priority this summer.
I’ve often talked about finding the editing phase very enjoyable (and even downright addictive!), especially the fine tweaking and polishing that goes into getting the language just right. But one difficulty with this stage of the writing process (for me, in any case) is that it can be very hard to accurately estimate how long those kinds of edits will take. When you carefully work through a chapter and think you’re happy with it, only to spot a number of additional things you want to change when you come back to it a week later, it makes it hard to set deadlines.
No doubt part of that is due to being afflicted with chronic perfectionism, but I can’t discount the fact that being in a slightly different frame of mind when you pick something up can help you to see it in a different light. For instance, I’ve found that looking at a manuscript not only in print, but in actual book form, helps even more with shifting fully into ‘reader mode’. Continue reading