Editing into the night is F-U-N… right? *taps mic* Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
I have a strange method of editing a first draft. One my fingers and wrists abhor.
I re-write the entire thing. I mean, I have my original draft open, and my new one, and I go through it scene-by-scene, line-by-line, re-typing the entire novel. I am not sure why I do it this way, or where I learned it, but I’ve done it this way since I can remember. From the earliest drafts of the unnamed kidnapping story I wrote in 6th grade to Death in the Family, Will & Audra, The Eternal Defenders trilogy, every unfinished version of Madaya… all of them have been edited with a full-on rewrite.
It works though (for me). Because I already have the gist of the story, the majority of the prose, themes, et cetera worked out and on the page, when I re-type it, I can focus less on speedily barfing the ideas onto the page before they vanish and more on actual content. I tweak each sentence and paragraph as I come to them, then make overriding edits to chapters and whatnot as needed. I also have a list of changes/fixes that I found upon first read-through (which comes between First Draft and Second Draft) and I consult that as I go, making sure to add or subtract or alter as necessary.
The WIP I am currently editing is (working title) Incandescence. It is a large departure from the sort of high fantasy I have been focused on for the past decade or so. Then again, it is also a fantasy novel with magic and mayhem and revolves around the end of a civilization (something I adore). Modern day fantasy in the ‘real world’ is something I have never tried before. And although I am really fond of some of my characters, the first draft was (thank you NaNoWriMo & sprinting) ROUGH.
So editing it into a manageable size (it currently stands at nearly 160,000 words with several scenes remaining to be added in) and sewing up a few gaping plot holes is going to be a b*tch.
The good news is, I have re-written 5001 words in the past six hours and am making headway. Progress for the win.
The bad news is, the longer this takes to re-write, the more my fingers itch to get to work on any of a dozen other projects I have in the pipeline. Between the boisterous new voices in my head, begging to get their turn to be immortalized in ink, the collaborations I am working on with Mr. Morgan, and the grumpy grumbling of characters who have been stuck on the back burner for years – I’m definitely not at a loss for projects. Just time.
C’est la vie!
Such is the life of a wordslave like myself.
Love & Rainbows,