After 5 months and 192,000 words the revised draft of Black As Knight has gone back to the agent.
I won’t deny it’s been a hard slog both physically and emotionally. It’s the first full rewrite I’ve ever done and I learnt a lot of the experience.
But I’m incredibly proud, not only of myself but of this book as well.
Upon setting out on the rewrite I wanted one thing – that was to be able to look back at this time and know I gave it everything. Whatever happens with this book along the way I didn’t want to think that I could have worked harder. Social arrangements were cancelled, I’ve not geocached in months. At times it’s been a bit of a boring existence, but I’ve known that there would be plenty of time to celebrate and have fun later. For now it was about hard work.
If anything will come to represent my Year of Hard Work it will be the work I put into the rewrite.
The day job threw up a few issues that slowed me down and it’s amazing to see, upon editing, how day job stress impacts my writing. In the end I dealt with it by block booking my remaining holiday in one huge 3 week lump. All credit to work colleagues for not raising any objections and being very supportive.
And as much as I might think I’d get to my first day off and then procrastinate I can honestly say that I’ve worked non-stop for the duration. I’ve been putting in some 18 hour days these past couple of weeks. I’m proud that the long hours were born out of a focused work ethic rather than desperation. Those weren’t just 18 hours sat at my desk procrastinating, those were 18 hours working through a ridiculous workload.
And despite 5 months, looking back to what changes I planned to make, I kept to pretty much all of them. I feel what I’m delivering is what I said I would. 5 months is an incredibly long time for someone who writes a first draft of a novel in 6 weeks, but a lot of this was new to me and I didn’t want to rush this.
Best of all… I finished on time. Despite setbacks over the 5 months, I’ve got to Fantasycon and the book is back with my agent
I’m thankful to beta readers who got what feedback they could to me in such a short space of time, especially Kate who read the whole thing and came back with comments in like… 3 days?
I ended it feeling burnt out, ragged but confident that what I’ve handed back is the best I could do given my current abilities.
So what happens now? Well I get a month off to recharge (I may write Black As Knight’s sequel or edit one of my other projects to pass the time) and should see some editorial comments come back sometime in December. Hopefully the comments will be less structural and more focused on a line edit. We’ll see. I should also have some more beta reader comments which I’ll incorporate. All this is a learning experience for me and as much as I’ve got to a stage where I’m unsure of which way is up and which way is down, I’m very much enjoying the journey.
As much as there were times when I just wanted the book done and my life back, I have to say that I love this book. I’ve re-read Chapter 37 so many times I’ve made my eyes bleed, but even I, as the author, still jump up and down in my chair.
So now, on my agent’s instructions, I’m going to enjoy myself at Fantasycon and mentally recharge for the next month.
I’m still packing the laptop though!