I am happy to announce that last night I finished phase one of editing my book, Stonebearer’s Betrayal. This includes checking the following:
- Concept integrity
- Continuity/timeline problems
- Point of view voice issues
- Character individuality
- Need for filler sections
- Obviously painful to read writing
The book sits at a scant 77,271 words which when printed at 12 pt font double spaced breaks down to around 208 pages. This phase took about 27 hours over the course of January and February. If I’ve done my math right, that breaks down to about 8 minutes a page.
Part of me moans that if I had been a full-time writer, I would have been able to finish this in a week or two. But, I’m not a full-time writer, and I can’t change that for a long while.
The next phase of editing will be much more intense. I expect the manuscript to grow at least 50% or more and with luck get that much better, of course my reader will have to be the judge of that. I have to correct all the issues I noted during the first phase, including changing all of my horrible telling sections into action-packed thrilling showing sections and also injecting some life into my dialogue. Most of my notes seem to stem from not taking the time to do it the first round of draft writing.
Having a printed manuscript has been wonderful, flaws and all, because with each page I review and edit I know exactly where I am in the process and what I need to do next. I didn’t start this project in a linear way and lost months of time trying to figure out how to put everything back together. From now on I will!
Well done. Don’t you find it interesting the different ways in which we read our work when it is on screen compared to on paper? Both have their flaws and benefits.
It’s an amazing difference, with the screen in front of me I tend to focus more on technical issues. On paper it’s more about finding the right voice and the feel of the work. Both are necessary, just wish that there was an easy way to combine the two.
Not to be a dumb person who probably doesn’t know something that everyone else here knows, but how did you print it in a spiral notebook?
Unrelated question: Was that the first time you read it all the way through and, if so, what did you think of that experience?
Need to think outside the box a little – I printed it at home and then took it to a Kinkos, they will spiral bind anything for around $5. Great way to keep everything together.
I had never read it from beginning to end before, always in sections. I didn’t get to sit back and enjoy because I was so focused on trying to find all the bits that needed work. But all in all it was a unique experience to be able to read my story.
My second manuscript has a number of hidden identities and (hopefully) unexpected twists, and it took me numerous pass throughs to find all the instances where I unintentionally revealed information that gave away a surprise or gave characters knowledge they couldn’t possibly have. I did 10 drafts in all and I bet there’s still a few things that need to be fixed.
I’ve come to realize no story is ever finished.
That’s a great milestone, congratulations! It’s always more fun to flesh out that have to cut, so you’re in for some good times. Can’t wait to see your book in print.
Me too! This next phase will take a while but I get the chance to really make things shine and fill in the missing pieces – I’m pumped.
Reminds me of the Beatles song . . .
“Phase One, in which Doris gets her oats. The two of us . . “
Now I’m going to have to look that one up! I’m excited to see how all the different ideas are starting to come together. Can’t wait to bring it to the next level.
congrats. we are so proud of you!
Wish I was as disciplined as you.
I do most of my editing on screen; in one way it is beneficial that when I mix up the syntax I just have to lift the entire passage and paste it in the right sequence. However, on the other had this keeps me stuck in editing and re-editing while I write. That means I stay glued to the initial chapters without moving the story forward for weeks on end. It is a bad habit I know, and perhaps I will take a lesson or two from you and print out the pages, keep the records and move on to next chapters.
Good luck for your book!
I did that for a long time, endlessly reworking small sections and completely ignoring others. Having it printed forces me to work from page to page. There is still plenty to do!
Hiya fellow chick-lit crusader! Congratulations on getting your first round of editing complete! I have the complete opposite problem in terms of word count – hoping to do a major cull in my first edit (first edit of this rewrite, anyway).
Looking forward to getting to know you more throughout the crusade!
I understand the pain of having to cull out the weeds in a draft – before I printed I kept a file of everything I had pulled out of the rough draft that wouldn’t work, either it was a non functional story line or a wrong point of view. I lost over 25,000 words in the course of a week.
We do what we must to make it better, right?
Thanks for stopping by – come back anytime!
Great list of editing categories. I will examine some of these areas when reviewing my novel.
If your novel is anything like Rik described your other writing I’m sure you wouldn’t have any of these trivial issues. By the way, is there any new news on you publishing one of these days?