It’s time for me to start editing my NaNoWriMo project, Dragons At Dawn. I have put it off until now on purpose, because I wanted to get some distance from the first draft. It has been two months now since I wrote it so hopefully I’ll be able to look at it more objectively. I have also been thinking about it a bit over the last two months, and I think I know how the story can be improved. It is also one of my ROW80 goals and we’re already past day 30 so I had better get started.
This is my first attempt at editing. I’m not really sure what to do, so I’m kind of making it up as I go along. Here are some of the things that I have done or am planning to do.
- Ask other people to read the story and critique it. Done. I have given the story to most of my family as well as four friends. Most of them liked the story, and at least one of them had some worthwhile criticism that I can use to improve certain scenes. Other comments were on my writing style, and will be useful to help me improve my craft.
- Break down the story. In process. I have started a new Scrivener project and copied the first draft into it. I had previously broken down the story into chapters. They are now organized into individual days and I will go from there to break out each individual scene.
- Describe the scenes. To do. Once the scenes are sorted I will go through each one and make notes about what each scene is about, what characters are involved, and the setting.
- Break down the plot and subplots. To do. Once I have a better picture of the individual scenes I should be able to examine the main plot and fill any holes. The same applies for any subplots.
- Trim the fat and fill the gaps. To do. After I dissect the scenes and plots I should be able to identify which scenes aren’t needed and what holes need to be plugged. I can cut the scenes that don’t work and plan new scenes where necessary.
- Flesh out the characters. To do. Once I have identified all the characters in the story I want to go through and make detailed notes about each of the characters, describing not only their physical traits but their personalities as well. This will make it easier for me to bring them to life for the reader.
- Detail the settings. To do. As with the characters, I need to bring more detail to the settings. Once again, this will make it easier for the reader to lose themselves in my world.
- Edit each scene. To do. I will need to go over every scene individually and rewrite it as needed. I will use the notes I have made on the plots, characters, and settings to add detail and description to each scene. I am guessing that I should add at least 20,000 words before I finish. Possibly more.
So that’s what I have planned. Please comment with any tips you have on editing. I am especially interested in knowing if you have any books on the subject that you recommend. Wish me luck!