3000 Words Left

Wow, what an exciting next week or two it’s going to be. Today, I’m wrapping up the re-write of my manuscript and from here on it will all be editing with little content change. This is a momentous occasion for me having never properly completed a manuscript before.

What I’ve learned?

— Try to plan out your novel before you write it. I’ve spent hours and hours having to go back and weave in new sub-plots and content that will be important in the sequel.

— Writing eats up a lot of your social time and spare time. Keep an eye on your health, your eating habits and any other intuitions or prompts your body is giving you. You need a break from your manuscript so take them!

— Don’t over analyse things. Some of my content in the second re-write isn’t as good as the first. I took bits and pieces from my first write up and implemented them into the second write-up.

— Don’t give up! It’s easy to have days that you feel like giving up on your manuscript when the tasks seems insurmountable. A good edit brings dimensions and richness to your characters, setting and plot. If you think your manuscript can be improved, then do it! Don’t fall into the trap of impatience and publish it when it isn’t finished.

(Just like a painting, you could keep editing and editing and trying to get things perfect. You need to set realistic goals for your manuscript. How will I know when it’s finished? Is a question you need to answer at the very beginning of your project.)

From here I need to go through and copy edit my own work. Make sure my phrasing and sentence structure is sound. That I’ve used active and not passive voice (unless it suits). Make sure I’m showing not telling (unless it suits) and finally, formatting the manuscript in word.
After this is goes to my many beta readers of which I have a good amount of. After they find errors and plotholes and every other thing that I’ve missed, it goes to my editor. I will pay my editor lots of money not because they deserve it, which I think they do, but because this money goes towards them helping me to become a better writer and to help other people enjoy my stories.

So here’s to an almost finished product!

There’s light at the end of my tunnel and by golly it isn’t an oncoming train! At least I’m sure it isn’t…

(Can’t be bothered editing this post for errors. Why? Because it’s finished when I say it’s finished! That’s my right as an indie self-publishing author.) >:-)

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Comments: 2

  1. Sara Allain October 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    So, out of curiosity, what is your planning methodology? Synopses? Extensive plot graphs? Character charts?

    • kjcolt October 5, 2012 at 12:05 am

      I tend to start writing a novel and as ideas come to me I form backstory, outlines and general information about the novel’s world. For my current novel Adenine the protagonist is a merchant. I had to develop a money system which I based on the English tudor times (being a fantasy it has English era elements. My re-write focused on setting the first novel up for the novels to follow. I also put in better sub-plots and tied up lose ends. I fixed dialogue, edited sentence structure and the parts where I ‘showed’ instead of ‘told’.

      For my second novel I have already written the outline for the first seven chapters. The reason why I need an outline for the second novel is because it’s a different beast. There’s already established characters in it, and from here on the initial main/sub-plots from the first book need to be interwoven with the second (not to mention that this novel needs sub-plots/main plots that carry over into the next book).

      The first book is always the easiest because everything is new. The second, third, fourth novel require more planning and less ‘pantsering’. So to speak.

      As for character charts I make up profiles for each character. I make up political systems (although it’s very basic). I establish and religions and how that will influence characters. My characters feel so strong to me that I don’t need to keep reminding myself of character quirks and anomalies.

      I use pen and paper to write my chapter plots. I use pen and paper for non-content edits first (I print out the chapters, read the sentences out to myself), then I fix them on the computer.

      That really is my process. I am hoping to tighten up my approach in the future with more forethought, outlining and careful typing instead of rushing through to get the story down. Although I don’t want to dull my creativity so I am planning to walk a fine line.

      I hope I’ve answered your questions 🙂