My Editing (again) (and NaNoWriMo)

I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this year, partly because I don’t have the time due to upcoming exams crazytime and because I’m still chipping away at Coldfire (only 3,000 more words than previous draft at this point, which makes me happy).

(And, yes I know this next bit’s a little repetitive.)

Speaking of Coldfire, I think I might have hit on a technique for editing that suits me. A lot of the changes I end up making are with wording (even though some of the text may be later deleted) and preventing the terrible eye-bleeding that may happen if one stares at my manuscript too long. Those two things, funnily enough, are connected. But those aren’t the point of my new technique. I’ve started jotting down notes as I read chapter-by-chapter in a separate notebook. While not necessarily as satisfying as taking to the printed pages with a red pen, it is cheaper and has its own reward in the ability to insult my own work and having more room to do so. Which I rather enjoy.

The notebook also enables me to write notes in the margins and on top of the page for ideas that have nothing to do with the section I’m currently working on. This didn’t really work with the red pen technique because once I’d edited and typed up the edits I’d put the chapter away in a box, never to be read again. It also enables me to create my own fragmented version of English and notes that will make no sense to anyone but myself. It’s like a secret code.

I suppose the next thing I should look at is structuring the edits themselves a little better. We’ll see what my all-in approach does for now in this novel. The first one’s always an experiment, much like what a friend’s mother once said about children.

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2 thoughts on “My Editing (again) (and NaNoWriMo)

  1. Ooh,
    I’m currently working on the second draft of my novel,–INK–also. I like reading about how other writers edit their drafts because it’s always good to know everyone’s specific methods.
    Yes, the first novel is always an experiment.
    I finished my first draft a month ago, and after looking over a few snippets, it’s not as good as I thought it was while I was writing it. So after I finished it, I put it away for a good three weeks. During that time, I started taking notes in my writing-specific notebook–be it jotting down things from phrases that strike me, to character names, and even whole scenes. A majority of these notes are also written on my iPod, which makes managing them a bit easier.
    When I finally sat down to begin re-drafting it, I found that the new scenes and characters and plot elements allowed the story to not only start off a lot smoother, but also letting flow a bit more fluidly.

    Juan

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  2. Our writing’s never as good as we think it is when first written. And when it comes to experimenting with writing, I feel like a mad scientist mixing the genetic material of bumblebees and labradors…

    Good luck with the rest of your edits 🙂

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