Monday, 31 August 2015

Weekly Update: August 23 to 29

Weekly word count: 0
Editing countdown: 19 of 23 (3 this week)

I'm so close to getting Metamorphosis done for editing.  By next week's post I want to be able to say that I've done it and can now move on to writing new stories.  I've gotten a couple of questions, asking how long it takes me to edit a chapter.  If I don't have a lot of new material to write, it takes me around 3 hours to go through a chapter.  I do multiple passes.

The first pass is to go through and look for any inconsistencies.  As I write my first draft, I often make a number of major plot changes as things occur to me.  However, I've learned to simply make notes and press forward rather than going back and rewriting everything to match.  If I go back, I get caught in a loop.  I make notes as to what changes I've done and what chapter I've made them in and then I can adjust the different scenes during revision.  This is also where I make a note of any scenes or dialogue which I feel isn't working well.  I don't actually do the changes yet though.

The second pass is for description and reactions.  I make sure every setting and character has adequate description (sometimes I get so caught up in the action that I forget in my first draft).  Then I use different types of reactions (physical, intellectual and emotional) to deepen the point of view of my characters.

The third pass is to rewrite any scenes which aren't working or which need to be tweaked to match previous events.

The fourth pass is to trim out words which I tend to overuse (I have a list) and passive voice indicators like "was" "had" and "has".  There are times when the passive voice is appropriate but the word count will be lower and the pacing will be quicker if it's minimal.

The fifth pass is to search for Canadianisms and adjust the formatting.

The sixth pass is a final read through for final tweaks and then I add the finished chapter to the master file.

I have to say that I find editing to be the second biggest challenge of writing.  (The first is promotion.)  But there is something inherently satisfying about seeing the polished work, even though I know my editors are going to rip it apart, since that's what I pay them to do.  It's good to know that I'm delivering something which I'm proud of.

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