Last night I typed up the rewritten diary excerpts into the MS of Cocke & Bull (I dislike the construction of this sentence already but I'll forge bravely onward), fussed about with some of the transitional passages and printed out the changed pages. Now, I think, that part of the revisions is done. Done-and-done. Done with, as some folk say ungrammatically. I might be one of those folks, but I deny it. Where?
Okay, so Father John Dowd's diary entries have been rewritten and a thousand or so additional words have found their way into the narrative. Now it's onward with the Complete Read, wherein I start at page 1 and work my way through to page Last and mark things up as I go, as the winds of near-brilliance guide me. Hopefully I won't see anything that's impossibly stupid that will require weeks of labor to repair. It feels pretty solid as-is. So what's the point of going through the whole thing again? Well, my purpose is two-fold:
First, there's the question of balance and unity. Having changed the meaning and substance of the ten diary entries, I need to make sure they still feel right (a technical term) within the story. If not, I need to fuss some more.
Second, this is just one more opportunity for me to make the whole thing better. I'd like to step away from this rewrite knowing (or maybe having an inkling) that the novel has improved by an order of magnitude. That would be cool beans, as my Ohio friends say.