Contemplating Dark Visions of Revisions with Aid of Macarons

TJ's Macarons
TJ's Macarons, via Diana Takes a Bite (

Starting to see a light at the end of the long, dark first draft tunnel. My heroine is still struggling with despair, but she’s traveling, seeing the world, and having epiphanies right and left. Things are looking up for both of us.

I’m at 72,o00 words, and I really don’t want my first draft to go above 90,000. (The agent/publishing industry blogs I read all agree that debut novels can’t be overlong these days, unless the pacing is really, really exciting. And mine isn’t. It’s not that I set out to write a boring book, but with a philosophical Bildungsroman, there’s only so much you can do. Your best bet, it seems to me, is just to keep it from getting overlong.) Only three chapters and a brief interlude to go, reasonable within my word-count limit. At the rate I’ve been going I could be done in a couple of weeks.

Which means I’m thinking about editing. I spent last night after Amandine went to bed reading over the draft of Part II of the novel, and it’s clear this puppy is going to need a LOT of tweaking, tinkering, and massive top-to-bottom overhauls before it’s ready to meet another pair of eyeballs. I don’t even want to talk about transcribing. I’ve gotten into the habit of writing first drafts in longhand, because if I try to do it on the computer, I invariably wind up shopping on the internet, hanging out on Facebook, reading blogs, or answering e-mails when I should be taking advantage of precious toddler sleep time to write instead. I’ve been trying to transcribe as I go, but am way behind. I only have a little over 40,000 words typed, and will have to finish up the typing before I can get into the meaty edits. Of course, the nice thing about the typing up part is that I do a bit of editing as I type, too.

Natalie Whipple’s last few posts on editing were inspirational. I realize I’ve got a lot to learn about that part of the process.

I’ve been consoling myself with macarons from Trader Joe’s. They’re all light and melty in your mouth, almost like the real ones you get in France. Alas, in the continual battle with my post-childbirth muffintop (the one that peeks out over the top of my jeans), the muffintop is winning, thanks to its new alliance with the macarons.

3 thoughts on “Contemplating Dark Visions of Revisions with Aid of Macarons

  1. It is sooooo hard to imagine you in a post childbirth battle with a muffintop. I suppose it’s possible, but it’s really, really hard to imagine.

  2. Thanks Pmom, you’re sweet to picture me sans muffintop. It’s not like a huge commercial bakery-type muffintop, and maybe it’d disappear if I just acted my age and stopped wearing lower-rise jeans, but alas, as things stand it’s a constant struggle. Of course, having a kid is well worth any amount of muffintop-struggles, so no regrets. 🙂

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