As some of you know, I’ve been working the last week on turning my rough draft of book nine into my first copy of book nine. (There will likely be four to five versions of this before it’s done and we move to copy edit. Three of them before my editor sees it, and one or sometimes two versions to take in her suggested changes.)
I’m trying not to be to anal about this version because I know there will be at least one more, but I like to turn in something that is as perfect as I can get it. My average weekly page movement at this stage can be anywhere from 70 to 200 pages, but yesterday I was stuck on the same 20 pages all day. Even better, I’m expecting that I’ll spend the morning on it as well.
It’s a little frustrating, but the chapter has so much dang potential. When I first wrote it, it was almost an info-dump of a transitional chapter. Now it’s got some action and surprise, but Al does something despicable, and I’m having a hard time with it. That I’ve now got some cohesion to the info is great, (I cut about three pages from a 23 page chapter, taking out me repeating myself when a new character walks in.) I still don’t like it. Al did something I didn’t like, and I have to decide now if I don’t like it because I want to like Al, or if I don’t like it because he did something out of character. I’m great at justifying things, so I have to be ugly-honest with myself to keep true to the book. I did this when Kisten died, so it’s nothing new, but it feels like my forward momentum just shifted to low-gear on the middle of the expressway. Ouch.