I had to do some other work first, some reviews for People, and for my columns at Dame and Boston Globe, and I wanted to do shout-out for friends. (See blog posts below, please.)
Today's task is theme and character clean-up. I didn't weave threads in strongly enough, so I am going back now through the whole novel. The problem and peril of doing this is that you start to discover other things that you didn't do. Suddenly, I am seeing that I didn't develop a character enough, or that I dropped a scene that should have been expanded. Really, right now, it is like the Butterfly Effect-you change one little thing and EVERYTHING changes.
I rubber-ball around. Some minutes I think: Oh, this is good. This is better than anything I have done before. Then a second later, I am obsessing: This is horrifically bad. This is the end of my career and I will have to get a job writing about towels, again. (Ten Terrific Shades for just 9.99 ea.) I have my editor as my lifeline and I keep trying not to anxiously look at the clock. The funny thing is I have become paranoid about saving everything and so not only do I keep backing up on Time Tunnel, or whatever the Mac thing is called, but I back up on CD. I email the whole novel to myself.
Part of me cannot wait to get this right, but part of me is desperate not to lose my characters. I wonder, when this is over, if I will know what to do with myself.