Saturday, 15 September 2007

Still editing...

More ruthless chopping tonight and words are falling like leaves.

Apparently I like to repeat myself...a lot... Why say something once when you can say it in three different ways (one after another)?

chop, chop

Have also been cutting superflous words (I seem to have a particular fondness for 'really' and 'that')

chop, chop

I haven't been referring to my self-editing books, but some of the advice seems to have sunk in because I'm immediately spotting sloppiness in my prose and have been tightening and tightening. Will go back to the books later to check I haven't missed anything.

So far I haven't had to alter the plot or chop any characters (which I'm very relieved about) and the main thing I'm working on is pace. When I read through the 100 or so pages I'm editing now (there are another 200 pages to read when I'm done with these) I marked pages that seemed to drag or I found boring. As I edit I ask myself "Is this important to this scene and the story? Does it add anything?" If it isn't, or if it distracts the reader, or goes off on a tangent or is just me getting into my stride and writing about something that interests me rather than adds to the novel, then it gets cut. As a result I've cut quite a lot!

Am slightly concerned by how many words I've chopped already but, from chapters 10 onwards, the chapters are shorter and more succinct than the ones I'm editing now so hopefully the chopping will become a little less extreme. 20% done. 80% to do.

In other news I've signed up to this website:

to receive a copy of the film "The Girl in the Cafe" which I've promised to watch, review on my blog and 'send off on tour' to the next recipient when I'm done.

Want to join in? Go to the website above and send 'the girl' an email. She's very nice.


Anonymous said...

Being new to the NR site, I am finding my way around and have to say how amazing your blog is! I write mainly about the paranormal and have just started my first novel.


HelenMH said...

Thanks for The Girl In The Cafe link. I've signed up too! Looks great! Hope the editing is going well.

liz fenwick said...

Sounds as if you're on a roll. I have reached the stage where i enjoy the tightening and chopping - dare I say - it's empowering :-) Keep up the good work!

Fiona said...

I know what you mean about certain words. For me it's 'just' although I haven't been through it yet - or finished it for that matter - so there are bound to be more.

You seem to have mastered the editing thing though, and that's no mean feat.