Friday, September 23, 2011

The First Edit

With Sterling, 3 things got me through the late nights editing:
1. Hard work.
2. A passion to do my characters justice.
3. Taco effing Bell.

I'm not sure exactly what happens during the editing process. When I am writing a novel, I'm energized. I walk 5 miles a day and make notes obsessively.

But somewhere during the editing process, I completely self destruct. It's a lot of sitting and eating. Not a whole lot of cooking, but that has to do with the fact my nose is pressed against the screen. When I write, I enjoy time away from the computer so I can work things out in my head.

During the writing process I learned a few things.

LOVE YOUR CHARACTERS. If you don't, no one else will. Even if they're despicable, love to hate them. There were 2 books I began but wasn't 'feeling it' with the characters and so they are unfinished.

TAKE PAPER EVERYWHERE. You will get ideas in the car, at work, in the bathroom, shopping, and eating. You will not remember it.

BACK UP YOUR WORK. Back your work up. Back your work up. Do it as you go, every single time you shut down the computer. Dropbox is something I will look into, but I put my files on a flash drive and copy to another computer. I want to have it in a safe account, you never know if you'll have a fire.

WRITE EVERYTHING - editing comes later.

During editing I learned a few things:

DON'T GET TOO ATTACHED I had a very tough time editing Sterling. It was 130,000 words and i shaved it down to below 95,000. I had to let a lot go. Scenes that were more relationship building, or hell - four pages of table conversation. If it truly didn't serve the story or the characters, then it had to go. For my genre and series, I set a goal. While some may write a book with 130,000 words and publish - more power to them - but I wanted to keep mine at a fast pace. I don't think anyone wants an Urban Fantasy book that is big enough to be used as a weapon.

I CAN FORMAT FOR KINDLE, AND SO CAN YOU. It took a while, and it was a huge learning curve, but I've got it down pat and I made notes. There are a lot of sources out there so just Google.

I still wanted to throw my laptop out of the window and scream at the top of my lungs, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

(Network reference, because I'm a movie geek)

BOOK TITLE ARE NOT EASY. I can name characters without trouble, a name always comes to me either in the beginning or at the end of the story that completely fits the character. But a book title took a lot of thought. I don't know how much weight a book title has other than piquing the interest of a browser to read your blurb. I'm dreading the naming of book 2, but I have been throwing some ideas around.

I've titled this post THE FIRST EDIT, because I have completed the first round of editing for Book 2 of the Mageri series. I did some hard edits and major rewrites. It was my first visit back to this book since writing it so it's going to require more work since I now have a firm grasp of how I want the direction of the story to go. I will go through this a few more times before it's ready for publishing. It was awesome to write THE END on the last page (Even though i do not put this in my actual book it gives me a visual cheer)

Why can't Taco Bell bring back the taco bell grande?

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