In A Writer’s Time (a book I recommend), the author Kenneth Atchity describes the state called End Time, when the work at hand is approaching finish. He says:
“End Time is characterized by high energy flow and pressure to finish. … Think of the slow-moving horse, after an exhausting day in the field, who hears the whistle and gallops at high speed for the barn. … Lock yourself up if necessary, turn off the phone, leave home, anything to allow End Time its way once you’re sure its way can lead to the end.”
The Taskmaster (the editor I’m working with now) is cleverly feeding me only three or four chapters at a time to revise. Each section must be right before we move on. With each chunk, I go through all the phases of completing an entire novel, including the exhaustion of End Time.
It’s a technique I recommend.
Key to The Taskmaster’s technique, as well, is to ask for a slow-motion rewriting of the opening chapters: set the scene, properly introduce the characters, the themes.
In practical terms, for me, it has meant doubling the first 40 or so pages of my manuscript, and doing the same again for the opening of Part Two, where there is huge leap in time and place.
I’d venture to guess that it could be a revision rule-of-thumb: double the first 80 pages of your second draft.
Today I’m in post-End-Time euphoria, the glow that comes with the magical words, The End.
For now ….
You are welcome, DeAnna. Check out the book, too. It's practical and empowering.
Thank you for sharing that wonderful quote. I love it! I'm going to print it out and post it on my board right now.
I hope it does help, Erika. Thanks for the note.
Thanks, this is great advice! I think with novels I don't often break them into small, manageable chunks for revision, and end up feeling overwhelmed, and probably, sacrificing clarity. This post is a big help!