I started writing my medieval fantasy novella in March 2014. I finished writing the story in December, and spent the next two months making revisions, cleaning it up, and preparing the manuscript for editing. About a month into the revisions, I made arrangements for a manuscript review, with a self-imposed deadline of Monday, February 23, 2015, to deliver the manuscript. I spent all of my free time and lost a lot of sleep making that deadline. It wasn’t stressful, but I was very focused and incredibly busy.
After submitting the manuscript, I was on pins and needles until I got it back. I couldn’t really focus on anything. I didn’t even enjoy playing League of Legends, my primary means of escaping reality these days. I was zombied out during the day, restless at night, and lost even more sleep than I did trying to meet the deadline. On a positive note, I thought of five things I needed to change when the manuscript came back.
The review showed up in my inbox six days earlier than expected with the subject line,”Completed Editorial Review.” Six days early, huh? Was that a good thing? A bad thing? I wasn’t sure.
I opened the email, the review was attached. The body of the email was very positive.
The review consisted of seven pages of very positive, constructive, and encouraging feedback. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – the positive feedback made my day! Woohoo! The constructive part was the most useful. I agreed with many of the points and insights – and disagreed with some of them as well. The encouraging part pretty much spelled out that if I make specific improvements, I’ll have a book “…that stays in people’s memories long after they set it down.”
Okay! Awesome! Now what?
First thing was to thank the reviewer. Click send. Done.
Next, I took the narrative and made a checklist of all the things that needed to be addressed. Then I crossed off items I wasn’t going to change, marked the items that definitely needed to be changed, and flagged those items I needed to consider, but wasn’t sure if or how I was going to address.
For the next day and a half, I pretty much just did a lot of thinking, but absolutely no writing. Lots of emotions. Some good. Some bad. Lots of ideas of what I should and shouldn’t do, with revisions flying and bouncing around inside my head. Lost quite a bit of sleep – again. Pretty much zombied out at work – again. So by Thursday evening, I finally got my act together and started making revisions. Worked on revisions Friday night as well.
It’s Saturday morning (3:00am) and things are looking pretty good… except for the one major revision I have yet to comes to terms with. I’ll save that one for another post.
Next step is to read the review again, go through the checklist again, and make sure I addressed everything I chose to address thus far.