I've got about 80 pages to go in the second pass through the Virgin manuscript, and it's taking even longer than the first run-through. Unfortunately, this is usually the way it goes. The first time around, it seems fine, just needing a few minor changes. But the SECOND time you see things that your brain must have simply glossed over. That "what did he/she know and when did he/she know it" stuff comes back to haunt you. You find the heroine referring to someone by name before they've been introduced. You find places where the hero is talking about things as though he was present during an earlier conversation, and he wasn't. It got to a point a while ago where I just couldn't think of the right word, so I wrote down the page number and went on. Eventually, that word came to me, so I was able to fix it, which is good because those are the kind of things that wake you up in the middle of the night. Even while I was writing this blog, I went back and fiddled with something else.
Deadlines can be hell, but at least they're good for one thing: you know that eventually you have to stop tweaking and send it off. This, of course, ultimately results in even more rewriting, but at least you know what you have to fix. My editor recently made the comment that I was her "most coachable" author; she tells me what she wants changed, and I do it. I may not always like what she's asked me to do, but at least I have a list to go by. It's sort of like taking off doctor's orders. You work methodically through the list, picking out what needs to be done right away, and deciding what can wait until later. Eventually, you have addressed each order and you're done.
According to the schedule for Virgin, I'll be completely finished with it somewhere around the end of February after I've reviewed the final layout pages. Of course, by that time, I'll be in the middle of writing the next one.
Help! I need a hunk!
Ah, that's much better. . .