A week ago today, I reopened a can of worms.

Also known as my fourth draft of the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale manuscript.

Since I first started writing this novel during the summer of 2015, I’ve pretty much consistently gone from draft to draft to draft (including the one draft that I decided to scrap and accidentally deleted completely and had a minor meltdown about), writing, editing, and re-writing this story between all of my other work-related obligations.

And sometimes sleeping.

On August 29th, I started tearing apart the third draft and finished the fourth on October 11th.

And then I STOPPED.

I did not pass go. I did not pick up $200. And I did not start working on Part Two for the 2016 NaNoWriMo like I originally planned.

And it remotely wasn’t easy.

I had been so entrenched in these characters and this universe for so long that it was difficult to want to stop thinking about the manuscript and all the ways I can keep making it better and better.

It’s really exciting, and all I want is to get all the words swirling around in my head for book one and the rest of the series onto a word document because A) I have a lot of words to get out, and B) did I mention that it’s going to be really awesome? Because it is.

But for a lot of reasons, I needed to stop.

For one, I finished the fourth edit the same week I decided to make an epic change to my life—see: leaving traditional employment.

As of today, it’s been two weeks, yay me!

For two, I had a lot of things happen from October to December at work, and it was all I could do to finish my responsibilities there, and also remember to do important things like eating and sleeping. Also, the holidays happened.

For three, I really needed to take a step back from the manuscript, and everything that happened in the above sentence helped force me to back off.

And now that I’m going forward with my fifth round of edits, the break has helped me gain some objectivity. I see things a little clearer, see some pretty blatant errors, see some convoluted sentences, see some character inconsistencies, see some more scenes that get in the way of the plot and need to be removed.

So the adventures of making things better continues.

I have just over 96,000 words to get through (and hopefully cut down to low 95k by the end of this), and so far I’ve gone through just over 30,000 words.

An optimistic goal would be to knock out 5,000 words a day until I’m done, but sometimes things happen.

One day I only got through 2,300 words because I was sick, or last night when I got through only 3,200 words because one of my childhood friends needed a place to crash since her connecting flight was cancelled and she was stranded in Arizona for the night (and thusly I needed to go through and clean my apartment because it was NOT ready for guests).

Some days, I was a LOT more productive. Like last Wednesday, when I knocked out 4,400 words while hanging out over by Arizona State (yes, the place where I used to work. They can’t keep me away so easily), or today, when I knocked out 4,500 words in the three hours that it took to get my oil changed and rear brakes replaced. And I’m not even done with today’s count.


Here’s me keeping track of my progress on one of my million Post-Its scattered around my desk.

Crossing fingers, I’ll be able to get through my edits by the end of the month, start working my way through my submission packages, and start querying.

Yay me!

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

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