East of Yesterday Complete!

Exciting news! I have finally finish drafting East of Yesterday!

Here’s some quick stats:

  • Genre – Time Travel Historical with light science fiction elements
  • Length – 111,000 words
  • Point-of-View – Third Person
  • Number of Points-of-View Characters 4 major, 5 minor
  • Number of Chapters – 46
  • Oldest file time/date stamp: 6/7/2009 for “brainstorming.doc”

This book is in a better state of polish than I have ever achieved with an initial draft, but that’s mostly because it isn’t really an initial draft. I have stopped resisting the impulse to edit as I draft, and I do think it worked out better for me this way. True, I sketched out the initial scenes back in 2009, but during that time, I rewrote and published The Sevenfold Spell, drafted and published The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf, wrote three Petroleum Sunset stories, self-published two of them, and wrote a significant amount for two other fairy tales (which I may get back to one day). Plus, I wrote a quarter of a Christian suspense that I have indefinitely shelved, and revised Magic by Starlight.

Obviously, I was getting nowhere. Last year, I stopped such a scattershot approach and picked the WIP that I thought had the greatest chance to succeed. Since then, I have been working on this novel exclusively.

The manuscript I have now is in much better shape than any other first draft I have ever managed. When I start a writing session, I go back to reread and edit what I wrote during the previous session.  This helps me continue on with the same tone/ voice (which I alter per POV). Another thing I do, is when I have a revision that affects another part of the manuscript, I drop a bookmark (the word “here” formatted with a special style), go make the revision, and then go back and reread to ensure everything is in sync.

Next steps:

  • Ship off to beta reader
  • Take a two or three-week break–until she sends feedback
  • Sweep the novel according to my manuscript clean-up process
  • Read it aloud/final polish
  • Write synopsis and pitch

I am hoping to be ready to look for an agent by March.

Edit: here is a link to my East of Yesterday page.

11 Thoughts to “East of Yesterday Complete!”

  1. March is good! Just in time for my birthday. That carries good luck right?

    1. Of course! 🙂

  2. CONGRATULATIONS! That does sound like real progress. {BIG SMILE}

  3. Let’s see if it will let me finish the comment this time. {half-smile}

    Okay, it let me return without posting this time, so… what I wanted to add is that I always backup and read before continuing to write, and I cannot seem to do that without making minor revisions. At least I cannot do it without spotting minor revisions that make things clearer, or flow more smoothly, or just feel better. I’d really rather write them down when I first spot them than try to hunt them down for fixing later. I’ll often back up more than a day’s worth, and occasionally get caught up revising a particularly confusing passage so I don’t actually get around to writing new stuff that session… but how can I write new stuff when I really don’t know what I just said? So some parts get revised more than once by the time I finish the complete “first draft.” (In parentheses because of all these revisions. {Amused Smile})


    1. Yes, this is exactly what I do! 🙂 And when I tried to NOT do it, I just had a mess. So I’d say go with what works for you.

      1. I’ve never tried not to. I suspect because my first non-related mentor, Vivian L. Thompson* absolutely loved revising. She said she couldn’t read something she’d written without wanting to grab a pen and start revising, even if it was published already. She’d just automatically start making changes. She even admitted that in later stages, not all the changes would be improvements, but they’d be changes she liked better when she made them. {Smile}

        With an example like that, how could I not love revising? {SMILE}

        • = Her nickname was spelled “Vi,” and pronounced like the letter V. {Smile}


  4. deborahblake1


  5. Okay, the mental hopping up and down in glee at the title of the post may have been premature, but I am really glad to hear about your progress. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you so much! Hopping up and down? Awesome–even if it is only “mental hopping”!

  6. Well I wouldn’t want to break the desk chair. 🙂

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