Friday, August 31, 2007

Editing a novel

My main writing at the moment is editing/revising/rewriting Silk Betrayal. I've only just started that, within the past, oh, two weeks. So for this novel my MO has been that I wrote the first draft of each chapter, and then once I finished 5, I went back for a quick scan of 1 (then chapter 2 after 6, etc.), mostly for glaring typos and any continuity stuff that might have come up in later chapters. But just a quick read that hardly counts as a revision. It worked well, though, for reminding myself of things I'd been planning to do but had half forgotten, as well as for working in whatever foreshadowing or character tweaking the next few chapters might have demanded. And then I'd share that version with my critique groups.

But now I'm in the serious rewrite phase. The print-it-out-and-fill-the-paper-with-ink phase. And it's getting filled with plenty of ink. The rework-major-sections-when-I'm-back-at-the-computer phase. What amazed me in the most recent chapter was how much waffling I did while writing. It got to the point where I was writing (in caps) "REPETITIVE!" in the margins. It was like every time I was wondering what to write next I simply had the character do the same thing. And it was a rough draft, fine. But then it made it through the next reread too. No one who critiqued it commented on it...or at least not directly. I think it may have played into some of those comments though.

Well, I'm pleased with how the rewriting of that chapter went, even if it seemed to take longer than I'd hoped. Now onto the next.

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