It's strange having an update without a word count. But it's been a busy month and there's been a lot happening, so I wanted to maintain the end of the month progress reports. After finishing the first draft of 'Grey Sister' at the start of the month, I've been busy with proof reading and editing.
I've completely re-written the first two chapters (kill the darlings!), which was the biggest revision I wanted to get done. An author once told me that the first 50,000 words is just about the author finding their voice and that was definitely true about my first attempts at writing! I was a little worried, when I started to read through, to see how rough that first section was. Thankfully it didn't take the whole 50k for my voice to come out and about half way through Chapter 3 I was able to convince myself that, 'it's all right, I'm not so bad at this after all'. Surprisingly the Prologue, which was the very first thing I wrote, didn't seem so bad. I was actually surprised by how much I still liked it. Maybe it's just the emotional tie I have to that first piece of the book. Perhaps an impartial eye would see it differently. I'll just have to wait and see.
I've been working through the rest of the book as well to make the big and small amendments that came up in the read through. Reading through the book as a whole first definitely helped and I can see now how easy it is to get tunnel vision during proof reading. Because I viewed it at a wider scale, I could pick out missing pieces of information, flaws in characters' relationships and inconsistencies in tone and pace. But when it came time to focus in again, I was getting so lost in sentence-to-sentence level details that it would have been impossible to see those problems I could see during the read through. Thankfully I made plenty of notes.
My next deadline is the 29th April, my birthday, by which point I want to submit the manuscript of 'Grey Sister' to at least one agency (wheeeeeze). It's terrifying, but I'm so excited to be finally reaching the point of submission. I have an endless list of jobs to do before then, most important of which is going back over the Prologue and first two chapters to get them to the point of perfection, since those are the ones that go out to agencies before the full MS (though some agencies may ask for the complete work straight away). Then it'll be a matter of writing up a decent cover letter.
Lots of work to do! Busy month ahead.