When it’s hard to figure out how that wonderful first drafting plummeted into so much editing. It was time to look at the structure. I had agreat deal going on, introducing new characters and complicated scenes. It took a while to step back and figure out where to start. The story was there, but how could it be so much easier to see. I wasgetting nowhere. I pulled out the books on how to write for anyclues. Perhaps tackling a large battle scene had become too much. Self doubt was beginning to creep in.
Small Steps Forward
I sat down to work out what I had. Too many subplots running along and in the process the main story had been suffocated. Sometimes scenes have to go and this time it was characters that left. I had createdplenty of characters, but it felt odd removing some completely. Slowly whittling away at edges to bring the real story home. In between odd moments, I wondered if it was the right thing. If it would help to remove too much plot. As each part went, some characters fled to the background as others vanished all together. The story held and with every stage it grew stronger.
Keeping the Main Story
Somewhere between the beginning and near the end of editing the story had finished its tale. The fourth and last book in the series was almost complete. It’s been a long road, travelling with the main character Saranon. A reckless sorceress who was never meant to take the lead. Mitch, a wizard who had his own problems to face. Last of all, Katholomu, the great big clumsy dragon with a love for danger and flying straight into it. Saranon grew beyond the story, leading the way right to the end.
It’s the second chapter that creeps in when you least expect it. Trying to get to first place. Yes, that’s how it starts. When you realise you jumped straight into the action without a lead in. Who does that? Well… The first attempt is not about being perfect, it’s about getting into the flow. For some reason that means skipping the beginning. If you have ever had this issue there can also be that awkward moment of realising it’s happened again. It can be a hidden blessing because it means you get to rediscover the start. Only this time it’s different. This time it can change.
Knowing Your Flaws
More often than not I find the story began too far in. Oops! The idea rushes around inside for so long. That by the time it’s written the scene has already begun. Like starting a conversation without the crucial detail. If you have ever done this it can be rather difficult to backtrack and explain the missing piece. The good part about knowing your flaws is that it means you can look out for them. A personalised check list can help if you know it’s going to happen.
Make One Change
After the ending is written it can be easier to back and write a whole new chapter. The fun part is laying the ground work and revealing the potential of what is to come. Adding a fresh start is a fantastic way to get reacquainted with the characters. If you are a pantser it can provide an opportunity to include foreshadowing or the odd bit of intrigue. However you start the first draft it can be easier when you already know the end. If you have a story or a favourite book, go back and change one thing. What would it be?
No, I am not editing again. Well yes I am, but it’s one of those things where anything can be a distraction. I have never regretted editing. The finished product is always worth the toil. The cringing, the ‘did I really forget to a word how many times?’ I have a habit of leaving out ‘the’ in the middle of a sentence. It’s like a treasure hunt for to find all the lost words. The other habit is joining two thoughts together mid-sentence. If it takes more than 5 minutes to figure it out the sentence gets deleted. What was I thinking? Umm…
The best part is finding out that the story makes sense. You have no idea how of a relief that is. On top of that I went head long into a large scene with many characters. Did that go according to plan? No… Did it cause panic and chaos? Absolutely! Somehow through all this the underlying story made sense. *Breathes a sigh of relief at the small miracle*
It can be rather complicated trying to keep track of that much action. It was fun, surprising and annoying all at the same time. The dragon just wanted to melt snow. The wrong person died. The person who was supposed to be trouble ended up being nice. Don’t ask me how that happened. I have no idea. The best part of editing os reading the story and finding hidden gems that were all but forgotten.