Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And Now the Real Work Begins....

Well, not really.

Writing the first draft was a lot of work. It's just that, in hindsight,
it was a lot more fun than what I'm doing now.

Editing.

And more editing.

I knew this stage was going to be difficult, but, really. I had no idea.

I know that all first drafts are crappy. I was expecting that.

What I wasn't expecting was how hard it was going to be to rip my baby to shreds. Tear its limbs off, rearrange its body parts. Yikes.

So, the first thing I did was order a few books on editing. Here's what I picked:

1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King.
2. The First Five Pages, by Noah Lukeman, and
3. The Plot Thickens, also by Lukeman.

Once I'd pored over the books, I did a quick first edit of my manuscript, looking for any
blatant errors; excessive adjectives, showing versus telling, sound, style, and story arc.
Then I handed it off to my lovely first reader, who, after going over the first five chapters, gave me lots of good feedback.

Whereupon I went back for my second edit.

And, upon seeing the glaring errors that now seem so obvious, I mustered my courage
and started using the 'delete' button. It was hard at first; in fact, it took about a month
before I was ready to get rid of scenes that, even though I loved them, just didn't work.

Now that I'm on a roll, it's really not so bad, because I'm starting to see how
much better it's becoming.

So, excuse me while I get back to it. That 'delete' button is getting a good workout these
days.