I’m deep into rewrites for The Steaks Are High. I got lucky and my pages are pretty free of red ink from my critique partners, but I’m taking a little more time than usual going through the manuscript. There are a few issues that I want to finesse. Mary Lou really enjoyed some of the scenes between Karnie and Matt’s kids. My daughter Holly said they slowed down her reading a bit. Opposite reactions, which happens sometimes. But I want to find a happy medium with them if I can. And Holly wanted more scenes with Detective Carmichael, so I need to find the right places to bring him into the story. Holly also thought two of my characters were too similar, so I need to make them distinct from one another.

None of these changes are big. A tweak here and there. But I want to put them in the perfect spots and do it right.

I’m one of those people who do rewrites while I work on a manuscript. I know myself. I take more time if I write on one day and then do rewrites on those pages the next. I smooth out sentences and add more description as I go along. It’s less intimidating for me than slapping words on the page until I finish the entire manuscript and then have to go back to polish EVERYTHING. Rewriting the next day makes me noodle each scene and come up with more ideas before adding new pages to the story. But there’s always something I miss, that slipped past me. That’s why I value my critique partners so much.

As usual, M.L. wrote “Go to search and see how many times you used the words ‘shrug’ and ‘frown.’ And add more smells to your story.” I repeat the same sins over and over again, even when I’m trying not to. I read the Story Empire post about using tags for dialogue, and I make an effort to do that. But, when my brain’s mush and I’m tired, I use the same, old tags over and over again. Shame on me. So, I look for them in rewrites.

I have a character who changes a lot in this book, and I want to pay attention to that, too. Did I make Porter change too much, too fast? Did I give enough of a reason to make the change real? So, I’m checking his scenes more than some others.

Anyway, I’m hoping to have the rewrites finished by the end of this week. If I’m lucky. And then I can publish the book. And no, life got busy, and I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do to market it. I’m behind. Again. But things are starting to slow down a bit and be more normal. So, for the NEXT book, I’ll have more time to get my ducks in a row. But for now, I just need to finish this manuscript and get something new out for readers to see if they still remember me.