So when I came out of hiding, guess what I found. A whole lot of work!
Actually, it was more complicated than just a whole lot of work. It was a whole lot of work, then a little work, then a lot of work, then a lot of unrelated work.
When I opened the file that was the final "100" pages of my novel, it actually consisted of 129 pages. No big deal, I knew I had to cut the manuscript, and cutting 29 pages out of 129 isn't so bad on the grand scheme of things. Still, I was confused, because I couldn't figure out what I had written in those 129 pages. These were NaNoWriMo pages, so I wrote them in a creative frenzy which can result in indifferent prose. I remembered several scenes that I wrote in the frenzy, and I remembered how my story ended (I'd better, right?) but I couldn't figure out what the rest of the 100 pages contained. This fear of the unknown was a major reason for my hiding from my novel.
Anyway, when I finally conquered my fear and faced my novel, guess what I discovered: 93 of my 129 pages were actually duplicates! Let me just say, this was very very good news. My novel was hundreds of thousands of words too long, and I've been spending months and months cutting those words to a manageable level, so finding a free 93 pages to cut was delightful. Realizing I only had 36 pages left in my novel (and taking advantage of an unexpected opening in my long form group's schedule) I agreed to have my final chapters ready to go out to my group on April 1st. (I should have realized agreeing to a deadline on April Fools Day was a mistake)
Not until after I agreed to meet my foolish deadline, did I realize what should have been obvious. My document was single spaced.
Yes, that's right, I somehow managed to fail to notice my document was single spaced while my writers group accepts 100 pages of double spaced material. On the up side, this turned my 93 pages cut into a very impressive 186 pages cut (yippee!), but on the down side, it turned my very reasonable 36 pages to edit by April 1st into a far less reasonable 72 pages to edit by April 1st.
Then the real world decided it ought to get some of my attention as well. In the final week of March I squeezed in a trip to CT to see my brother in a play, several days finalizing my grandmother's move to her new apartment, and let's not forget the review of my second 100 pages by my writers group.
What a week! Still, my final pages are finally in to my group, and I have until the end of April to sit on the edge of my chair and hope they like it.