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Dead Revision
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My normal approach to revising is to drop everything and dive in, tearing madly through pages to fix all the structural stuff, writing new scenes and layering in foreshadowing and all that stuff. Then I go through a couple of passes to polish things up and declunkify the prose (that's a technical term of art). But I'm not doing that with Dead Reign. I'm spending a lot of time thinking, and then going into the manuscript and making adjustments. Last night I expanded a brief, jokey 100 word scene into a thousand word scene that, I hope, has some emotional heft to it. At the time that I wrote it, I brushed off all the potentially complex stuff and just wrote a gag. It was enough to produce a chuckle, and a couple of people commented favorably on that aspect of it, but a lot more people complained about the overall flow of that part of the book, how it seemed saggy and anti-climactic and not powerful enough. I think that dodging the emotional content of that scene was part of the problem. So, hopefully, it's better now. I'm seesawing back and forth between doing tiny little touch-up changes -- dropping in lines here and there to clarify things, set up things, clear up confusion, etc. -- and doing bigger revisions, combining and cutting scenes, etc.

I feel almost like I'm not working, because I haven't rolled up my sleeves and pulled a five-hour marathon, but shit is getting done. There are still a few biggish things I want to do, but I've accomplished a lot already. I figure I'll finish all the structural stuff in the next week and a half or so. Then it's just a question of reading through the whole manuscript two or three times to make sure all the seams fit and all the prose works. I think this could potentially be the best Marla book yet, and I want to make it as good as I can. I've got all month. I'm going to use all that time, I think.

It'll be a busy month, though. We've got childbirth classes the next few weekends, and our baby shower the weekend after that. We're going to see Avenue Q next week. I've got a dentist's appointment to fill a couple of cavities. (Only the third and fourth cavities I've ever had in my life. Sigh. Aging is disintegration.)

Heather's off to dinner with a friend tonight, so I'll be alone, which is sad, but has one virtue -- I can eat whatever horrid things I want for dinner. So will it be pizza or Chinese food or cheeseburgers? Decisions, decisions...

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