On the threshold of finishing Brimstone Soup and moving on to the revision stage, I'm digging my heels into the comfort zone of notes, more notes, and now a brand new analysis tool - the chart. Excel is my new best friend. I just spent about three hours charting every possible arc in my story (and there are a ridiculous number of them, to be sure). It serves the dual purpose of preparing me for the revision draft as well as allowing me to busily avoid writing the difficult scenes I have on the menu today. On the upside, I answered some critical questions, reworked a few things that weren't quite working, and actually filled in every blank.
The New York conference is closing in fast, and my plan stands firm: finish my manuscript and maybe even have some time left over to clean it up a bit. Uh, maybe I should slice "haircut" off my to-do list. Who needs a hairdo when you've got 80K words to polish?
I had this awful dream the other night that I got an agent for my manuscript, she sold it to a house I'd never heard of, and when I asked, "Did you send it to Editor X (an interested party) at House X?" she replied, "Editor X wouldn't even look at it because you took too long."
Ok, so back to work. But I needed to write some prose after doing all that charting. So that's my cue to get back to Chapter X...