Well, it’s official.
I’ve set a deadline for Draft 3.
My goal is to finish this third draft in 3 months, which means my ending date, in theory, should be August 19th.
Here’s how the editing looks so far:
Draft 3 doesn’t look like it’s going to be as involved of an edit as Draft 2 turned out to be. It’ll be less of a gutting and hacking with chainsaws and more of a precision trimming. There are old scenes (from the very first idea of what became Opus) that I’m throwing back in and new scenes I’m adding and other scenes that I’m cutting. I’m cutting out a whole plot arc, adding in some new interesting tidbits of information, and adding in backstory. I’m going to be stripping one of my main character’s arcs down to the bare bones and building it back up again. And, in theory, I’m going to be fixing the beginning.
God, I hate beginnings.
I’m in a bit of a conundrum with the beginning, you see. The vast majority of my betas and my critique partners pretty much agree that after the first forty pages or so, the book is pretty hard to put down. But those first forty pages? They’re pretty grueling, apparently.
Here’s the rub. There’s very important plot introduction and very important character development within those first forty pages. There’s one character who even goes through a mini arc in those first thirty to forty pages. And I need both of those things. If I just needed one or the other, then my job would be a lot easier. After all, it’s a thousand percent easier for me to change plot to fit character arcs than it is for me to change character arcs to fit plots.
Because I’m one of those authors who likes to have the characters drive the story and the plot more as a mechanism for character interaction, character development, and keeping my readers happy.
I’ve already complied a long list of edits for this draft and it looks like its going to be an interesting ride.
PS: The very last thing I’m doing is fixing the beginning.