I was pretty pleased with myself at the beginning of this year, having finished my 1st draft of my 2nd manuscript. Not sure if it was a mistake or not, but took a month away to start a 3rd novel before going back to edit. Now I’m in the process of editing and so far, I think I’m doing pretty well – “editing the unmerciful suck out“…which is a FANTASTIC blog post by Chuck Wendig. If you have a minute, it’s worth it to check his blog out: Terrible Minds. I receive his posts to my email and I have to say, he’s probably one of the most hilarious, RIGHT about pretty much everything, writer. No doubt, if you’re a writer…you’ll learn from him.
Anyway, I’ve edited about halfway through and I think it’s going well. I had asked readers earlier this year how they edit, if they had any “sure fire” ways to get through it without wanting a drink….or twelve. Everyone had some fantastic ideas. I ended up doing what I did with my first one. Pulling the first draft up onto one half of my screen and a blank page onto the other half. Then going about rewriting the entire thing, using the first draft as the bones. I’ve cut A LOT, but somehow have also added over 2,500 words. Which works well, since I was 8,000 words shy of my original goal.
It’s coming along though and I’m happy about it. Too bad life gets in the way sometimes, or I’d have it into it’s third polish. I didn’t have the brainpower today to sit down when my kids took a nap and edit though. So here I am…
What I have enjoyed about editing is realizing just how much deeper I can go. The plot is already there, the characters are “real people” now…so I sort of get to indulge a little more in aspects of the story I was lazy on the first go around. I may wish to murder all the characters by the time I’m done, and burn down the town…but I’m learning a lot and it’s exciting to see the developments.
Just for the fun of it, I entered the 1st draft into a contest with the Yellow Rose RWA Chapter: 2014 Winter Rose Contest for Unpublished Authors
Mainly because I thought any feedback from the judges would be a phenomenal boost while I edited my 2nd draft. I really wanted the critiques…as harsh and unforgiving as possible. I knew it would give me some ideas on where I was lacking in my writing. I don’t have many “friends/readers” that I can go to and trust to give me sound advice. Only a small handful – but I LOVE THEM all the same! I just figured it would be really great to have professionals give their opinion.
In a particularly low state of mind one day, I opened my email to find I’d won 2nd place in Contemporary Series!!! Wow. Just….wow. I’ve never opened up enough to show my writing to many people I didn’t know or fully trust. So…to have these judges tell me my 1st draft was good enough for 2nd place?
Needless to say, I framed the certificate and look at it frequently. *wink*. Sure, it may not be published works or the Olympics of contests…but it was huge for me. And I was right, the feedback ….wow. I can’t really say more than that. I so appreciate every judge and all that took their time with it. It makes SUCH a huge difference to people like me that are maybe not as confident as others. It helps me give that devil on my shoulder the finger whenever he tries to whisper how bad my writing is!
That’s all I need. So. Putting the drink down….and going back to edit the suck out!