I spent the last week since turning in the editorial rewrite for EVER-AFTER with the tail end of a page proof for INTO THE WOODS, and then my first run through of something special I’m making available at the end of the year. Yesterday, though, I went over the chapter outline of book twelve that I worked up a few weeks ago, and I found it still solid and with enough surprises that I am excited to work on it. I’ve always said the series was 12-13, but until I had an idea that sparked, wasn’t going to commit to the 13th. And yeah, it sparked. I can’t wait to get into rough draft mode.
Writing rough draft is like no other part of the process, both mind numbing and exhilarating as first ideas are acted on and you get to see how well you did your plotting and anticipating problems. There are always surprises, but what gets me is the pace. If writing is a cross-country race, (another lonely proposition of solo performance with the hoopla of competition at the end) the plotting is the flats where you stretch out and go, the page proofs would be the sprint, and the copy edit is the one to three people you find out in the lonely spots and test your strength. But the rough draft is the hills, killer hills with long slogs upward that evolve into exhausting, fast spurts where your pace is off and your balance iffy and you almost twist your ankle. That’s where I’ll be for the next couple of months, working on hills and improving my endurance. It’s a long fight upward, but oh, the view is nice.