Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Editing Bin

Today I have been laughing at my past writing self (as well as doing other things). 

I am currently redrafting Chapter One at the moment and it's funny how I thought a conversation exchange between my main character and a member of the chorus was essential. It went on for three pages. There was no plot advancement and it wasn't characterization either. Just a conversation with slight conflict. What was I thinking? I needed to be at the main event. So it was added to the bin. 

Another example is giving away too many details in the first chapter. I want people to read further - not get all the info from the first chapter. I need some intrigue. So another thousand words added to the bin.

A building, central to the plot had a quite bland description before. There was nothing to make it special and it was also 'too perfect' - so out with the old, one sentence description. On the redrafting arrivals lounge was a paragraph of description. 

So, this weekend's editing session involved losing two thousand words, adding another thousand and then cutting 800-ish words. I now have a less flabby chapter that gets to the point. 


Jen Daiker said...

I loved this! I love how you labeled it - in the bin - I think it's important while editing to keep a focused and sound mind because you never know what could creep in! I wonder sometimes why I wrote something in a certain spot. It never had a reason their to begin with. Leave it to my brain to play tricks on me!

Love your blog! Look forward to future posts!

Jessica said...

Thanks Jen for the lovely comment :) It feels good to have some new-found energy to do this redraft :)

authorsoundsbetterthanwriter said...

I'm glad you're going back to it. At the end, the editing bin may even have a bigger word count than the final manuscript. But it will be worth it. Be encouraged. :)

Jessica said...

Thanks :)

The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy said...

So true! Am also editing a novel I wrote several years ago before going ahead and publishing another. I have to look at sweaty photos of Ghana to get myself in the mood - while sitting rugged up in bed and dreaming of skiing! best, cat