I finished reviewing the book this week and committing the edits to my first draft. I suppose that technically makes it my second draft. I think that there will be at least one more draft before I consider it ready to send out. Hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll have the manuscript done, my base query letter perfected, and my synopses polished. Then we’ll see how it goes. I plan to write the second novel while I’m shopping around the first. In fact, I’m about two-thirds through the first chapter of the second novel. (It’s the fifth time I’ve written the first chapter of book two, by the way. Took a while to get it right. I’m sure I’ll edit the crap out of it at some point.)
I noticed when doing my edit that the first chapter and the last chapter were the most reworked. The first chapter was rewritten a few times until it felt really solid, probably because I hadn’t hit my groove. The most successful rewrite happened after I finished the novel, so I imagine it could go the same way for book two. By the last chapter I think I had the flow down, and I didn’t have to work so hard to establish setting, plot, and characters, so I didn’t have to manage those things so much. However, I did this really funky timing thing at the beginning of the chapter that was inconsistent with the rest of the book and confusing upon the reread. Cue the cut and rewrite. I think it’s better now, and hopefully is as dynamic a closing to the first segment of the story as the first chapter was a beginning. It’ll be good to revisit it again once or twice before shipping the thing off, but for now it’s nice just to feel that it’s much stronger.