Project: Edit

18 Jan

The day has (finally) come: time to start reading through my second draft.  I couldn’t be more excited!  Now, I’m not going to refer to today as “Day One,” because my husband hates it — says it’s overused and inaccurate, sort of like the way people toss literally and ironic around haphazardly.  For example, before the final showdown on any given reality show (such as, of course, my favorite: Survivor) the final few start to reminisce about how they’ve been in it to win it since Day One, or in an alliance with so-and-so since Day One, or suffering through typhoons and enduring the eager parasites since Day One.  Very few of them actually mean Day One itself.

So!  Even though today is actually Day One of edits, I shall refrain from (officially) labeling it as such.  

Um.  Anyway.

Latte?  Check.  A fresh set of red pens ready to bleed on my pages?  Check.  Easy access to this and this (by Natalie Whipple and Holly Lisle) ready to go?  Check.  Cute new outfit from J. Crew that makes me feel like the writer/editor that I am?  Check!  A plan?  Check.

Perhaps now is a good time to mention that this plan of which I speak is going to get tested out for the first time starting this morning; therefore, it may get tweaked/trashed/overhauled along the way in favor of something better.  

What won’t change?  The end goal: to make this project an exciting, well-written novel; to inspire and entertain those who read it; to write characters who reach through the page to connect with the reader on an emotional level.  To not only write a novel, but to write an excellent novel.

It’s been so hard to take a break for this long, but I’m a) glad I did, and b) glad to get back to work.  Today’s task: start to read the thing, from front to back, checking to make sure my scenes are scenes and that the story is as interesting, fun, cohesive, and suspenseful as I hope it is.  (Preparing myself to read with objective eyes, in 3…2…1…)

I know at least a few of you are working on your own edits — how is that going?  What has worked well for you along the way?  This is also a question for those of you who, even though you might not be editing right this minute, have done it before.  I’d love to hear what worked well from those of you already on the other side of edits.  (Side note: as I write this, I remember Jennifer Neri wrote a post about this type of thing recently, too — you can find it here!)

I’d love to stay and chat, but well, there’s a two-inch stack of pages just itching to be sliced up with my pens.  

PS: In the sidebar, I added a new(ish) page called “Challenges!”  This is a place where I’ve started an organized, easy-to-access list of my writing process, and the various challenges I’ve set for myself/others along the way (Oktoberzest and Diligent December, for example).  I’ll be keeping it current as I progress through Project: Edit.

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8 Responses to “Project: Edit”

  1. Uninvoked Monday / 18 January 10 at 9:38 am #

    Blah. It was working fine till I had an epiphany that means virtually rewriting all of it. Am not happy. -.- Good luck with yours.

    • owlandsparrow Monday / 18 January 10 at 9:49 am #

      Hey, stick with it, friend. My second draft was a complete rewrite of the first one – it can be done! It took me a long while, but I’m way more satisfied with this draft than I was with the first. We’ll see how much work this one needs – I’m fully expecting it to take a while!

      Good luck with yours, too! I’m sorry you’re discouraged about it, though. It’s easy to look back and say “you can so do this,” but I absolutely remember the sinking feeling I felt when I realized it was going to take way more work than I had anticipated. Still, though, I don’t regret spending the time. Can’t wait to hear more about your progress! :)

  2. Megs - Scattered Bits Monday / 18 January 10 at 10:04 am #

    Congratulations on getting started! I got through lesson 3 of the course you linked to above and had to go back to the beginning again :grumbles under breath: because the first draft had stuff I needed. And now that I’m in the first draft (instead of the sixth) I’ve got the challenge of finding there’s stuff in the sixth draft I needed! :groans: Haven’t figured out my solution yet. But since the course I think is closed again (opens for windows of time) I’m giving you a link to the summary sheet on what Holly does: http://hollylisle.com/fm/Articles/wc2-4.html and http://hollylisle.com/fm/Workshops/one-pass-revision.html. Hope this helps!

    • owlandsparrow Tuesday / 19 January 10 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks for the links and for the congratulations! Yes, I’m already seeing there’s some stuff I want to include from the first draft that I left out of the second (I went overboard on setting description the first time, now I’m…underboard?) (What’s the opposite of overboard?). Wow, good luck trying to merge those things between Draft 1 & 6 – that sounds like a daunting task to me, since so much can change over that many drafts. It will be awesome (not to mention rewarding) when you figure it out, though, I bet.

    • owlandsparrow Tuesday / 19 January 10 at 10:39 am #

      Changed my Holly Lisle link in the post to the one you listed here (the one-pass revision one) – this is actually the page I was thinking of, and I had posted the wrong one by accident! Oops! Thanks for posting this one in your comment. :)

  3. Megs - Scattered Bits Monday / 18 January 10 at 10:04 am #

    I’m now off to check out your challenges. I think I need one!

  4. Merrilee Monday / 18 January 10 at 3:47 pm #

    Good luck! Enjoy the editing process :) It can be very enlightening (and also frustrating, maddening, depressing…)

    • owlandsparrow Tuesday / 19 January 10 at 8:56 am #

      Thanks, Merrilee! I’m enjoying it so far…so far it’s just been enlightening, but I have no doubt those more negative aspects are trailing close behind!

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