As of this week, I’ve got exactly one month until my deadline. The rewritten version of Book #1 in the new series is due on June 15th.
It’s pretty common for writers to miss deadlines, but in this case I’ve got additional reasons not to – I’m going to have a lot of personal-life-related stuff starting around mid-June, so if I don’t finish the book by then, everything is going to suddenly get much harder. On top of that, my contracts with my US and UK publishers are for multiple books, each of which has their own delivery date, meaning that any delay for Book #1 is going to make it that much difficult for me to hit my delivery dates for Books #2 and #3.
All of this means that I’m really committed to finishing this rewrite by June 15th. I’m going to do whatever it takes to make sure I get there.
Unfortunately, this is going to mean a fair amount of work. At the moment I’m working my way through the manuscript from beginning to end, making the changes I’ve written about here, here, and here. It’s been going quite well – I’m about 50% of the way through, as measured by chapters/word count, and I’m finished with the really difficult early bit (when you’re doing a rewrite, the hardest part tends to be the first third or so, where the important characters and story elements get introduced), and I’m much happier with the new Version 5. However, the last 15% or so is going to be slow going. I’ve come to realise over the course of this that the last 3 or 4 chapters of Version 4 of the new book are just a write-off – they were taking the series in a direction that wouldn’t work at all in the long run and I’m going to have to delete them all completely. This means I’ll have to write about 30 pages or so of a completely new finale and ending.
Rewriting 6 chapters and then writing 3 new chapters, and doing it all within a month, is doable for me – even once I add in time for editing, it’s the sort of deadline I’ve been able to hit before. However, it does mean that my next month or so is going to be pretty tense. Expect my blog posts to get briefer and briefer as June 15th approaches!