Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Wrap-Up

I did it! 50 hours of editing in March.

I'm just finishing the monster scene I've been mired in for like a week. I've also been inspired to work on a later scene, so have been flitting back and forth between them and have them both pretty much done.

For April, I'm doing another 50 hours. Really, my goal is to NOT STOP until I am done with this draft and ready to send the WHOLE thing to beta readers.

Friday, March 20, 2015

One Chapter Down

Happy Spring! Now if it would only get above freezing so that three inch sheet of ice on my walkway steps would finally melt.

I've finished revising the first chapter of the dreaded Act 3. Now I'm on to a long and talky scene-- another which exists in the last version but needs extensive reworking. The scene after that, though, is one that needs only a few little tweaks and some prettying up.

I'm up to 36.5 hours for March so far.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mid-Month Check-In

30.5 hours of editing in March so far.

The fiddling with the first half of the book is done-- well, mostly. As I work on scenes for Act 3, I think of little tweaks to better set up what's coming.

At the moment, I'm hacking away at the second story block. This is a scene that existed in the last draft, but that needs extensive reworking. Basically, I had two scenes in this Act with Willa and another character. I decided to swap the locations of these scenes. The essentials of the scene-- location, action, topics discussed-- don't need to change, but the tone does.

In the old version of the scene I'm working on, Willa was absolutely furious with this character, and the betrayal she felt made for a very tense and bitter conversation. Now that the scene has shifted to just after the mid-point, her whole mood is completely different. She's thrilled to see him-- has in fact been pinning all her hopes on him-- and he is going to completely let her down. So whereas the old version of the conversation went: betrayed fury --> righteous indignation --> confusing offer leading to ambivalence, the new version goes: happy excitement --> confusion --> irritation --> confusing offer leading to ambivalence --> chilling realization that something is seriously off here.

That's the state of the writing at mid-month!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Still Trimming...

...but almost done. I only have "was" left to do, which will be a biggie. I did "-ly" today. It's not a matter of ruthlessly eliminating all adverbs and forms to "to be"; it's more about looking at every single one and deciding if that adverb is necessary, or if there's a stronger way to write the sentence than a "she was" construction.

Sunday I took a break from trimming and spent The Son's snowboarding lesson making notes about Act 3. I have a decent outline now, with 20 chunks of story to get through. Of those chunks:

*7 already exist from the last draft, and shouldn't need more work than cosmetic touch-ups

*7 already exist, but need more extensive reworking to fit in with the changes I want to make to the Act

*6 do not currently exist in any form and need to be written from scratch

So that's not TOO horrible.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Trimming the Fat

I've got March by the nuts so far-- 4 days in and I've edited for 10.5 hours already. Woot!

I finished Act II and tacked it into the same file as Act I. Now I'm doing search function editing-- searching for commonly abused words and eliminating or rewriting as needed. So far I've done:

every, everyone, everything (holy crap did I have a ton of these)

This kind of editing is fun like cleaning out your junk closet is fun. It's not like you look forward to doing it, but once you get on a roll it's deeply satisfying to chuck all this crap cluttering up your life. I've cut more than 1,500 words (weak, crappy words mourned by nobody), which blows my mind.

It's a little scary how insidious this stuff can be. Like, I know you're not supposed to use suddenly. I read once that you can get away with it twice in a whole novel. I would have sworn I only used it twice in TOB. Nope-- there were at least twenty! Same thing with very, that, and really-- I was very sure that I really didn't use them much! ;)