Editing…

Writing, or editing. It’s always one or the other that ocupies my time.

I took a chapter from 3600 words to 2500 today. Most of it wasn’t correcting passive voice, either, though I did manage that. My NaNo Novel from last November has a lot of things that need tightening, and it needs added conflict.

The difficult part is sometimes knowing what to cut and what to keep. It’s YA, and since it occurs in school I think I should have some details of school (I like to do little school details here and there), but I don’t want to beat the kids over the head with it, either. There is a balance between how much school and home life is good, I’m sure, but I haven’t found it yet.

I figured out the parts I want to focus on for this story, and I’m trying to dump the rest. I had an unrelated spelling test, so I deleted it in all its gritty glory. (Oh, don’t worry, there’s a copy. I always keep a copy of the original version in case I get rid of too much or I need to change the focus later. No use trying to remember what it was. I can compare drafts if need be.)

My original estimate was 2500 words per chapter, so I find it amusing to hit that now. I think I should be able to do that with most of the chapters in this book. Some of them are under right now – one of the drawbacks of a writing spring – but at least the story is down so I can tweak it as needed. I find it much easier to focus on the essence once it’s written.

Writing sprints like NaNoWriMo give a good opportunity to get the story down. Just can’t forget that it’ll need a few good edits when you finish.

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2 Comments

  1. Vivian said,

    23 January 2009 at 13:44

    Check Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap for your award information.

  2. Dawn Embers said,

    23 January 2009 at 15:57

    Good that you keep a copy of the parts you cut, just in case.

    I think some people forget about the whole edit/rewrite part of writing a book. In my novel writing class there was a speaker who did a type of self publish. She talked about all the rejections she received from regular publishers which was why she went the other route.

    Then she mentioned that what she had been sending out had been her first draft. I couldn’t believe that.

    For my nano I plan to do a first edit, then a rewrite where I add parts I forgot and add transitions to stuff I hadn’t planned, another edit and a rewrite to cut down the stuff not needed, and after that maybe one more edit at least.

    But seriously.. people need to edit.


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