I'm still waiting for the Scardown notes she promised me, and no chance of those before Monday, so I shall have to abate my apprehension a little there. I hate notes, even when I love them: there's nothing like a thorough going-over of the things you thought you managed okay the first time to expose one's inadequacies as a writer. She assures me it needs less work than Bridge, at least, which is encouraging.
Even if I am deep in the throes of a plateau, and convinced I will never master the skills I need to be any good at this.
I am so looking forward to my vacation. I'm also looking forward to spending the first two or four months of 2004 doing rewrites rather than working on something new. At least with rewrites, you know the story is there, dammit. It's just making it better. There's not that cringing terror of "What if I can't make it work?" "What if I fall utterly on my ass?"
Because if you were going to, you would have already.
There's the (for me) subservient terror of "What if my skills aren't up to making the book better?" --but that's a different thing entirely, and more closely tied to the Rampant Suckmonkeys.
I have 1022 pages of The Stratford Man done and in order, about three pages of outline notes left, and about fifteen pages of scenes that happen between now and the end of the book. I'm just trying to make it all fall together tidily.
I think I need to take my printout and reread everything and start my draft-and-a-half edit (Most of the MS is actually in second or third draft, because I do some pretty massive rolling edits, restructurings, and rewrites as I go. So my quote-unquote first draft is actually comprised of everything from fourth draft to zeroth draft, and then I do what I call a draft-and-a-half, which is an intensive rewrite of everything from a hard-copy manuscript, usually with major additions of the stuff I didn't realize I needed back there until I got to the end.)
I think I don't know what order things need to happen in. I think I have it backwards. Or crooked, slightly. I probably need to do notecards. I'm all tangled. Maybe a flowchart or something.
Oh, well. I have one hundred or a hundred and fifty pages to write, and a month to write them in to meet my goal. I can afford a little slack-cutting and falling back to regroup, right?
Add cpolk and porphyrin and wintersweet to the list of currently beloved betareaders on livejournal. You guys are above and beyond the call.
I'm up to a thousand words today on SM, though. Go Me.