I’ve been in a bleh mood lately. There’s been money crap, and job crap, and relationship crap, and other assorted random crap. And I haven’t been sleeping well and that always makes me pissy and edgy. So mostly I’ve been turning my attention to revisions. I’m glad I didn’t wait until this week to start because there was a ton of work to do.
The first thing I did was go through and outline each chapter with a quick line or two about what happens. This way I could distill the 300 page manuscript into a much more manageable six page outline. Once I had this view in front of me, all of the plot holes and inconsistencies and general WTF questions become clear. So I wrote up a list of all of the questions and inconsistencies that needed to be dealt with and started whacking away at them one at a time.
With that all done and the chaff stripped away, I started looking at placing the clues and foreshadowing and all of that literary BS into the story to give it deep meaning and many more words. Finally, at the end of last week I got that outline all squared away and took a few days off to revise a short I got back from an editor. I’m very pleased with both revisions so far. But as for SCARS, the real work is still ahead of me.
To ease my way into the rewriting process, I went through and broke up all of my 8-11 page chapters into 3-6 page chapters to speed up the pace of the book. That’s definitely one of the tricks of the thriller I’m happy to rip off. When that’s done, I’ll start going through the manuscript chapter by chapter, adding and deleting according to the outline along with cleaning up any literary roadkill I find along the way. I’m hoping this doesn’t take more than a couple of weeks, because I’d still like to go back and have a full read up it before I have to send it off to the SMP/PWA contest.
Friends have given me various bits of advice about this contest and whether I should enter it or not. They all have valid points but it comes down to one simple thing: The deadline is July 1 with the winner being notified by September 15. I turn 30 years old on September 16. So this contest is the only chance I have of getting a book deal before I’m 30.