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.
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.