How I did it: I have no idea. Okay, I'm being a bit dramatic. I got a little exercise book (and proceded to doodle all over it when I didn't feel like editing - see picture attached) and wrote down everything I felt needed to be inserted or axed or changed. I reworded things as I went through. I rewrote the ending twice. I picked the best first sentence I could. I picked the best ending sentence I could. I think I've done the best I could and I've started writing my query letter. Read how I did it… 3 months ago
I’ve got a 48 page little exercise book with the title of my manuscript on the front and the first few pages filled with ‘Jane Doe is too stereotypical’ and ‘John Appleseed drinks too much’ and ‘not enough hints dropped about Kate Smith.’ These are obviously not the names of my characters. At least I hope it’s obvious. Anyway, key message: I’m doing okay.
So now I’m going to dive head-first into chapter one and extract some subplots to replace them with more interesting things. Wish me luck! 3 months ago
editing my book < bathing in acid. 3 months ago
Just finished editing Chapter Two. Baby steps. 3 months ago
Woke up in the middle of the night last night (or earlier this morning, depending on how you look at it) and I couldn’t get back to sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about my book and how good it would be to have it published. So I woke up, made myself a peanut butter sandwich and edited the first chapter. I’m on four hours of sleep but I feel energised (and I don’t even drink caffeine!) and empowered. So yeah, in short, I’m trying to get the first edit done by the end of February by editing one chapter a day. Woooo! :D 3 months ago
How I did it: First, I read through the story and removed a lot of clearly weak material. It was extremely productive.
I had a mental model of what I thought of as the story's "backbone". I tried to place events in the story along this abstract structure in a sensible way.
Scenes were moved around and shifted to effectively:
Read how I did it… 7 months ago
- Introduce another character or scene
- Provide variety in action (I didn't want to group all similar scenes into one section, since the story takes place over years, and weather and seasons are very evident)
- Build interest in various threads of the story