A few weeks ago I was feeling very proud of myself. I was all finished with the 5th novel in The Blanchard series and was looking forward to a couple months of resting my brain before starting the next (which I had all mapped out btw).
Well...that's what I get. My editor relays to me that the next book is WAY too long and needs to be split. I'll admit it did have a lot going on. I was running two consecutative plots which all culminated together at the end in a really big way. I should have known from how long it took me to write it that I had too much happening. Usually I can have a book started and finished within a year. That includes rewrites, edits, changes, and letting it sit a few weeks while I marinate on what I've written and allow myself time to alter anything. That book took longer than a year, so again, I should have seen it coming.
So I have spent every day and many nights over the last several weeks retooling this book. At first I thought the simplest version was to divide it down the middle and make two books. That was a ridiculously naive idea. Doing so would have had a lot building up to something that doesn't develop until the next novel. So I weeded through page after page, eliminating one storyline, while beefing up the other. I had to make sure the continuity was intact--which wasn't easy. Removing story left holes in dialogue where characters had been discussing the plot I erased. Also, I now had characters who had been doing something elsewhere in another storyline who I now had to weave into the remaining one. It was a mess!
The good news is...it is done now! It is in editing again and if I do say so myself, it turned out to be an even better book! I had more time to delve deeper into the emotions of my characters, which is always somethings fans tell me they love. I am able to allow some relationships and future plot points to come to a slow boil for the next book, but had room to make the current plot even thicker.
So I am happy to wrap up 2023 with book 5 newly revised and completed. I have to say, editors know their stuff. I thought it was pretty good before, but now I absolutely love how it turned out. Hopefully, you will all agree when it is in your hands next year!