Half a chapter to go, and I'm done. With the rough draft, that is. I always write a rough draft of each novel after I plot it out. I tell the story straight through and do only a little editing as I go along. My emphasis is on getting the story down on paper. Then----I start the revisions. And those can be messy. I put each novel through at least five revisions. As I've mentioned previously on my blog post, the first revision is always the longest. That's because you see everything that's wrong.
My goal for this novel was to finish the rough draft now and complete the first revision before I leave for Malice. Then, enter the corrections and print off a clean copy to take with me, so I can start the 2nd revision while I'm away.
I'm leaving early for Malice. I'm going to spend a few days with my childhood friends and their families in Northern Virginia. Vienna, Virginia to be exact. And it will be beautiful when I get there. Virginia is always in bloom in late April---Malice time. Azaleas, dogwoods, crabapples, and cherry trees----all flowering everywhere. It's positively lush. I like to take time before Malice to visit with old friends. So, there won't be any revising going on then. Nor, at Malice. There won't be any time.
After Malice, I'll head to my oldest daughter Christine's home in Fairfax to spend a week with family. And that's when I'll get back to my writer's work and revision #2. Everyone leaves for work in the morning and the kids are off to school, and I go workout then find a coffee shop and get back to work. By the time I return to Colorado, I'll be ready to tackle revisisons #3, 4, & 5 before my June deadline.
As you can see, there's some "downtime" but deadlines don't allow a lot. Some people hate deadlines, but I find that they actually motivate me. I get busy and write.
So---for those of you who're currently working on your own manuscripts but find it all too easy to put off writing, you might try this deadline strategy. Enter a writing contest with a definite deadline. That may be the incentive you need to finally finish your manuscript. After all, if an editor/agent judge reads it and is interested, you'd like to be able to submit the finished product. Just a thought.