Slash and Burn?

More like bunker bomb. I’m annihilating my book, one chapter at a time.

And it feels FANTASTIC.

I took chapter 1, chopped it all up, threw a bunch of the pieces (1,600 of them!) away and rewrote pretty much all of it, including a much stronger intro that I think really grabs the reader’s attention. And in fixing chapter 1, I stopped hating chapter 2 so much. One was where all the problems were.

Furthermore, I’m no longer worried about my word count issues. I’ve found 2,000 words to edit out in the first two chapters alone, and have lots of notes for cuts in later parts, both major and minor.

I think I’ve nailed down my system for editing, which I’ll share with you. I’m sure it’s by no means original, so I take no credit for it.

  • Edit 1: For story. Plot holes, cutting the big and small bits that don’t fit, fixing loose ends, continuity.
  • Edit 2: For mood and tone. Adding what’s needed to better achieve the feelings I want to set for readers.
  • Edit 3: Dialogue. Making sure it flows and sounds conversational, getting rid of any stray adverbs, improving pacing.
  • Edit 4: Scenes vs. narrative. Ensure a good balance between the two.
  • Edit 5: Paper edit. Just me and my red pen.
  • Edit 6: The one where I hand it over to people I trust to be even more brutal than me.
  • Edit 7: Taking all that marvelous feedback and implementing it.

And after all that I’ll probably still hand it over to a professional.

I have spreadsheets and summaries and documents galore. I’m so organized I’m ultra-organized. What can I say? I’m an editor at heart, always have been.

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~ by Nicole Bross on October 9, 2012.

I wrote, now you write.

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