Sunday, 14 August 2016

WRITERS WEEKENDS: MY EDITING GAMEPLAN

Hi everyone,

So, Camp NaNoWriMo is long over and I decided it's time to bring back my old Writers Weekends series so I can carry on talking about my writing. Every Sunday there will be some kind of writing related post, whether it's tips, a tag or an update on what I'm working on.

I'm currently working on editing my first novel. This is the book I wrote when I was fourteen and it's also my first time really trying to edit anything so...yeah, there's a lot of work to do. It's terrible right now (after one very quick round of editing where I didn't really change anything), but hopefully I can change that now.

Without further ado, here is how I'm planning on going about editing this book.


1- READ THE WHOLE MANUSCRIPT
It's been over a year since I even thought about this novel, so the first step is to reread it and remind myself what actually happens. I've already done this bit and it was very painful. But necessary. Painful but necessary.

2- IDENTIFY THE MAIN PROBLEMS
This round of editing (which I'm sure will be the first of many) is focused on improving the structure and the plot of the novel instead of the actual writing. After reading the manuscript I wrote down all of the glaring structural and story issues I noticed. This list was over two pages long and consisted of problems like one of the romance plot lines being far too rushed (they kissed on page twenty, for gods sake) and one character being really important for ten pages and never mentioned again.

3- MAKE SCENE CARDS
*An artistic representation*
This editing plan is very much tailored towards me, and if there's one thing I like most in the world it's writing things on note cards. I don't know why it's so satisfying to have all these cards that I can shuffle around and group together but it is. For this step I wrote out every scene in the book on a card and then wrote down which characters were in that scene, where it was set, which plotlines it added to and how many words it is in the original draft of the novel. This gave me the opportunity to see which scenes really added to the story and which weren't actually necessary, and writing everything out definitely helped with reminding me of parts of the story I'd forgotten.


4- ADD, REMOVE AND CHANGE THOSE CARDS
For this stage (which I'm currently in the middle of) I'm going through the list of issues mentioned earlier, figuring out how to fix them, and then adding those changes to my scene cards. I'm taking out unnecessary scenes (goodbye that one where everyone got drunk and talked about their feelings. You were fun to write and will be missed), adding more cards to fill out certain plot lines, and adding to the scenes I already have.

5- SEPARATE THE CARDS INTO CHAPTERS
This novel currently has no chapters. Like, it's just a 200 page block of text and it needs splitting up. The plan is to put the scene cards into order and then split them up into about 30 chapters. Then I'll probably colour code it, just because I like colour coding things.

6- MAKE THE CHANGES
Finally (for this round, anyway) I'll take each scene card and change the scene in the novel so that it matches it. I'll be changing the structure, putting in the chapters, getting rid of characters and adding a lot of scenes. I don't even want to think about how long that's going to take...

Thanks for reading! I hope this was interesting or helpful or...something.
-MIA

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