Hurrah! Last night I finished the most recent set of revisions to Magestone. I had to stay up till 4am to do it, but since I’m ordinarily up till 2am it wasn’t a huge stretch, and darned if I was going to bed when I was so close to the end. Good thing I don’t have kids. Or a day job. Yay for being a childless freelancer. Sorta.
One of the things I found myself struggling with last night was the timeline in my book. Initially I’d written it so there was a few months after the turning point in the plot before the climax. One awesome crit partner pointed out that there just wasn’t the sense of urgency with them having so much time. So I had to shorten what had been (I think?) two months down into three weeks. None of the events themselves had to be changed, but the motivations for a few action/consequences that were timeline dependent did, and there were a lot of references that I needed to make sure worked.
Things like “The next day” and “later that week” and “On Saturday”. You don’t have to pay too much attention to this stuff when you’ve got eight weeks to play with. When suddenly you’re down to three, it really does matter if it was Saturday or Wednesday, one day later or three. I drew up a little calendar and wrote in each scene/event onto it so I could see how it all spaced out. Most events were relatively flexible in their timing, but one absolutely had to be a Saturday, which complicated all the other items. I must have spent half an hour just scheduling the events of my novel.
The manuscript is now off for a last (I hope!) round of beta reading/critiquing. Barring anything major that comes up as a result of my latest changes, I’ll begin querying it after that. Which means I should get started on my query letter while I wait, I guess.