Yesterday I finished reading my novel. Last night I sat down and wrote a two page “to-do” list. Some of the tasks are straight-forward editing (albeit time-consuming): work through the self-editing book – in particular the points at the end of every chapter. Other tasks will require some rethinking of the plot and reworking of the content: Sam’s mom. What happened?; need to develop “murdered theory” with more action, not just speculation.
My first job was to look at the timeline of the story–is everything in the right place? Do we need a 3 week gap in the middle? I sat at the galley table and mapped out the story onto 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper–jotting notes to myself in bold in the text of the story.
Next step: run through the novel, chapter by chapter and jot down the purpose of each chapter. Is that section or chapter needed? Is it in the right place?
I forsee more deleting, more writing, and new plot ideas.