Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ooh, editing! How's that going?

Did you see how slyly I avoided that editing question yesterday? That’s because I decided that, rather than try and sum up how editing was going in one small paragraph, I will devote a whole post to editing today.
So… here goes.
I started writing Keeping Up the Sun two years ago and I finished the first draft August 13th, 2009. Then I took a break. A really long break. Like a 6 month long break. I’d heard authors recommend it before, and they were totally right.
During my break, I not only got to work on new things, including doing NaNoWriMo for the first time and starting a couple other books, but I allowed myself to forget about it. And it really helped. By the time I returned to the book sometime in the middle of last year, I had almost completely forgotten what happened and I got to look at it with a fresh eye. And I read through it. And I did a little bit of editing, mostly grammar wise. I also figured out what needed to be changed.
And then I took another break.
I really, really like breaks.
I finished the second draft in December of 2010. The second draft honestly wasn’t that much different than the first draft, except that I had cut about 50 pages and I had completely rearranged the plot. Yeah, not different at all.
I was kind of hoping that the second draft would be the end of the plot issues and that I could move on to more specific problems, such as my overuse of the word “really.”
After taking a break for about 3 weeks, I returned to Keeping up the Sun and started reading through more carefully, looking for grammar issues as well as “big” issues, thus beginning the third draft. Unfortunately, I found a lot more “big” issues than I would have liked to and again proceeded to tear the book apart.
So that’s where I am now. I finished my first read-through the other day and there are major, major plot holes. I mention things that I haven’t actually written yet. I still have so much more work to do, but I’ve done a lot and I’m just going to be happy with that for now.
And now, time for some fun facts!
1.       Number of pages cut since 1st draft: 44
2.       Number of characters added: 8
3.       Number of word documents in my Keeping up the Sun folder: 10
4.       Number of “really big issue” post-it’s in my notebook: 3
5.       Number of “really big issue” post-it’s that have to do with setting: 2
6.       Number of times I’ve rewritten the first scene: countless
Wow, 44 pages cut. And I actually cut more than that because I’ve added plenty of new scenes.
Have any of you guys done edits recently? Do you have any tips? And how many pages do you end up cutting?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I have yet to finish my first fact I may never finish it at the rate I am going... Anyway- I think I will follow your advice and take a break when I do finish it.
    I know that when I paint, the next day I always seem to notice things that I missed the day before. I never thought to apply that to writing.