Surprise, surprise. I actually opened up my Lost Queen manuscript and started editing. Who knew that I had it in me?
I sure didn’t.
Editing has been such a stressful thing. The first couple of chapters were relatively good, there wasn’t much there that I needed to change or add, but once I got to chapter 6, everything went downhill. Plot points that weren’t strong and needed to go meant deleting and rewriting entire chapters. While I don’t actually delete anything, just move it to a different document, the rewriting is killer. I have only edited about 9 chapters out of the 40 or so chapters I’ve actually written. Plus, I have to add chapters to make the book more seamless.
It’s really hard. But, I’ve found some great advice on revising and editing that I am going to share with you!
Never delete anything. Ever scene or chapter that you’re throwing out can be used for something else. For example, I had a scene that I’m reusing after changing up the plot. If I had just deleted it, then I would have had to rewrite the entire thing rather than just changing it to fit into the new section.
Plus, even if it doesn’t work for this book, it can always be repurposed for another one! You never know what it can be used for until you need it.
Always write notes. Notes are a great way for me to remember where the heck I was going with an idea. I know where I’m going to and where I left off without having to take half an hour or so to reread everything. Plus, if you get a spark of inspiration or a good idea, but you don’t have the time to sit down and write it, now it’s there for you to pick back up on later.
Seriously, take notes. I also like to leave comments/notes in my draft explaining different people, scenes, locations – anything that I might need to come back to. It doesn’t just have to be for editing purposes, it can also be used to keep the story focused and to help remember important ideas or facts. The comments tool has been a life saver for me!
Split up your time. I find myself getting really motivated to write and then after a few hours or a few days, I lose my motivation and end up sitting on it for a few weeks or months. After doing NaNoWriMo and writing 50,000 words, I took a two month hiatus because I was wiped out. Now, for this draft, I’m editing a couple chapters a day (which ends up being two-three hours of work) depending on how much needs to be done. It’s helped with my consistency and allowing me to write, keep my motivation, and get this book done!
As a sneak peek here is a recently edited scene from my book!
William stood on the bow of the ship heading East. His parents would be furious when they awoke to find their eldest son had disappeared on his birthday. His eyes scanned the water and the smell of the ocean made him dizzy. This was everything he had dreamed for.
The trip across the sea wasn’t necessarily planned, but it was the best present he could have given himself. Eighteen years old. Finally, old enough to leave that house with no consequence to himself or to his siblings. William left behind his two younger sisters knowing they could handle themselves. If he hadn’t left, there was no saying what kind of mess would occur.
It had taken weeks of begging and several gold coins to fit his way onto this boat and now that he was here –
He had no idea what the hell to do next.
There were so many stories of the East – the magic that the women possessed, the cruel nature of the Clans, and the treaty that forbade outside visitors. William wanted to see the world and if that meant stowing away on a trading ship to see it, then there would be no regrets today.
As the ship rocked back and forth though, he had regretted leaving on an empty stomach. Although an empty stomach is preferred over emptying it on the side of the ship.
He wore his favorite black slacks, a loose white shirt, and a red scarf around his neck. His black leather gloves had a good grip on the railing of the ship and his shoes didn’t slip on the water easily. He was ready for the adventure and the sea.
This is the first time we’re meeting William, a boy on a mission to find his mother, even if it means going to the deadly continent of Oichi. I still haven’t come up with a name for the residents of Oichi, who are magical beings split into three clans.
There’s so much to get done, but I hope that I can get a lot of this done soon! I can’t wait for the story to get whipped into shape and start to read like a real book!