Posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett

After struggling for months, I finally came to the end of my Work In Progress. Oy. What a relief.

Okay, this isn't my first book. You'd think that after eight or nine completed manuscripts it would get easier, not harder. Well, you would be WRONG! How often have I heard an author say (and usually in writing, not verbally) that after each completed manuscript, they find they've forgotten how to write a book.

Well, it's true. I forgot how to write a book, too.

The easiest book I ever wrote was Dead In Red (which will be published in June 2008). That book had a slow start, but once I got to about chapter three (after a false start), the thing just seemed to flow from my fingers. I wrote 80% of the first draft in two months. That's a record for me!

This one took me more than six months just for the first draft. And of course it's not done. There are holes big enough to drive a Hummer through. And I'm considerably short on my word count. That said, I'm not worried about the rewrite. I've already identified some 12 points I need to make, so it's just a question of squeezing them into the right spots. (My new mantra: "I love rewriting; I love rewriting; I love rewriting.")

Calfeb08wordMy deadline is February first. That means I get to do a good chunk of the rewrite during the holidays. Or should I be honest with myself and admit I get to do most of my rewriting in the last three weeks before the book is due, including ripping out huge hanks of hair and downing antacids by the tubful. And it isn't that we're going hog wild during this holiday season. In fact, this'll be the most subdued "season" we've ever had. Not much decorating, no parties, and most of the shopping done online. (I can't bear to go out in the cold and have to MAKE myself do it.)

So today I jump into the rewrite. 51 days till deadline and counting.

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