#editnfriends: Better Late than Never

We’re going to ignore the dates on that image and pretend that I am completely on time with this challenge that Elizabeth Szubert issued. Right? Right.

It’s been a while, but I did talk about my editing space back in March, and it’s very much the same most days as it was in that post. I’m still working by hand in my printed out manuscript with my pink pen and a furry little companion by my side. It’s going as well as one might imagine ripping apart your words might go. Things that I have learned now that I am officially 11 chapters in:

  • Pay attention to chapter numbers. If you have eight chapters labeled “9,” you’re going to get into a lot of very confusing ordering / sequence situations.
  • NUMBER YOUR PAGES BEFORE YOU PRINT OUT THE MANUSCRIPT. This alone would have saved me a million headaches.
  • If you end up having to add a scene or break up a chapter into two (or eight…), renumber things. Do not have 9a -9h. Just renumber the chapters after it.
  • Cutting scenes is actually kind of… Fun?
  • Do not print multiple drafts of the same chapter.

As you see, I’ve been having quite a specific struggle with my editing. And ended up spending an extra hour “working” yesterday than I planned because I found some chapters were in my print-version twice, one entire scene was missing completely, and things just weren’t in any sort of logical order. But, once I managed to figure out what went where and why… I feel like I was able to establish a much stronger sense of plot and really strengthen the dichotomy between the two potential love interests in doing so. I have notes and arrows and scribbles all over the pages for little links and transitions that I’ll need to write / add once I finish the paper-edits and move into putting them on the computer to finalize everything, but it actually feels like things are coming together nicely.

Which, is interesting to me because it makes the story feel like it is very full and robust, but, I ended up completely trashing (as in papers crumbled and thrown across the room towards a trashcan as if I were pretending to be some sort of athlete) 11 pages yesterday. Now, admittedly, 3 of them were because I for some reason printed two drafts of the same chapter. But the other 8? We just scenes that didn’t need to be there. I might bring one of the scenes back at some point — where Jimi shows off his “hobby room” and makes everyone hate him even more for bragging yet again about how nauseatingly rich he is — but where it was placed? It made the hate come on too hard, too fast. So, that’s been cut. Another scene got chopped because it seemed to be a bunch of fluff / filler that didn’t really add anything to the novel other than pages. And then a really random scene with a character that never reappears was removed. Because, really… If that’s their only purpose? They aren’t important.

Maybe I should be sad, grieving the lost of my words and hard work… But honestly? I’m glad to see them go. They served their purpose at one point of helping me to explore characters (and meet my NaNo word count for the day) and feel out the plot, but now? Now they were just bloating my novel for no reason. They’ll be much better off now that they’re gone.

#50in5 Words Written: 0
Chapters Edited: 11
Hours Spent Editing: 4.5
Scenes Rewritten Completely: 0 (yet — 2 are slated / marked for a rewrite)
Scenes Cut Out: 3
Beta Requests Sent: 0
Beta Requests Received: 0

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