Monday, March 8, 2010

First week of editing out of the way...

…And I have to say it is both exhilarating and depressing at the same time. On one hand, I am really enjoying cutting out the needless words, the pointless exposition and the “what was I thinking by including that” text. On the other hand, it is so disheartening to see just how much of the novel I am unhappy with.
I expected to edit lots at the start of the novel where I was finding my voice, but some of the early chapters are woeful. I thought I would find it hard to cut parts out of the story, but I have had no trouble eliminating virtually a whole chapter.
In many ways it is a good thing. Every cut I make, every inconsistency I come across will make the novel that bit better. So why am I unhappy? The parts I am unhappy with largely focus around the scenes involving a main character. I’ve written him so badly and so weakly that as things stand he has not got an identity. I am going to have to do a lot of re-writing around him.
As things stand I have edited 140 pages out of 408. This is just basic chopping and pruning. Once I have completed this, I will go back and do all the re-writes. I was secretly hoping I would only need to do two drafts of this novel. I realise I was kidding myself; this novel will need at least another pass after I’m finished this editing process.

Lessons learnt: Editing takes a lot longer than you think and there are no short cuts.