The competing juggernaut I described at the start arrives in January. Though our story lines differ completely, the pressure's now on me to put on real speed since I am proceeding solo. I'd first hoped to be querying agents by now. But I've set that back till the end of the month for a couple of good reasons.
1) The beta feedback received was terrific. And one recurring comment about chapter 4 confirmed my own suspiciton that it suffered from Back Story Blues. Since then I've found a way to get much of this upfront without sacrificing the consistent first person p.o.v. This tough trick in progress will take a little time.
2) Since I am flying solo, I need to go back through the first 80 pages that Brad, my ex-partner, had worked on. However good his input was, I can't and won't use his words. I'll consider myself blessed though for the lessons I received in clarity and speed from Brad.
3) I'll need to do what I hate most: come up with an outline and query that work.
Meanwhile--orchestration!--I whip the rest of the novel's tenth-drafted 300 pages into reading shape, honoring my betas. And I take notes for the novel's last section which I have already drafted: a 100-plus page hunt and siege.
Summary: right now is the critical time zone. This month. Before that juggernaut arrives, I want the book's first fifty pages to rock...I want the next 250 polished to high glory...I want the outline and query completed...and I want to be already nailing the final 100 pages.
No problemo. I say, with my hero Boss: The bigger the trouble, the better I fly.