Hey everyone. I’ve been away for a while because of Worldcon, but I’ve finally found some time to get things written.
That Little Nightmares series is about to start, I promise. But I’m also doing something else at the moment that I want to run concurrently, because it’s going to be a little patchier than the rest of the cohesive series-esque-type-things that I do.
So, I’m currently moving onto a new editing pass, of a story that isn’t The Ferryman’s Apprentice.
(Because, gasp! I just finished the final season of The Ferryman’s Apprentice! It just goes to betas now, and then I will have A Completed Story to give you folks!)
I think I’ve talked about this before on this blog, but I have been considering for a while how to benchmark the editing process.
We have things like NaNoWriMo for first drafts – while 50,000 words is arguable as a novel draft length (it’s perfectly appropriate for some genres, too long for others and too short for the rest), the concept of a word count is excellent for a first draft project. It’s easily measurable and trackable, you can set goals depending on the project, and it’s very easy to create metrics for. We can celebrate milestones – every 5,000 or 10,000 words, say – or every day that we write over a certain amount of words, and all those sorts of progress-based rewards systems that the human brain likes so much.
Not so editing.
Editing is much more wibbly-wobbly than that. Every editing problem is a different size. Some of them require going through and changing a few sentences, or adding a few lines of foreshadowing. Then you’ll have some that require deleting sections. Some of them you’ll need to rewrite a couple of scenes or maybe a chapter. And sometimes you have to go through the entire book and change a common word throughout the whole thing (a term for a group that got changed, for example – a character name, character pronouns …).
I’ve been having trouble, therefore, devising some sort of milestone for editing progress. I might be one of those people who enjoys the editing progress more than the writing progress, so the reward factor isn’t quite as important to me, but I would really like a way to codify it so that it’s easier for me to tell how much time each stage would take.
I also couldn’t express how exactly my editing process works. I tend to take a bit of an eclectic approach depending on how I’m feeling and what exactly needs fixing with the story I’m dealing with.
So in order to fix that, I’m being self-important and doing it in public. I’ve just gone ahead and sort of assumed people will be interested in hearing about this. Sorry about that.
The point of this is half for me to have my own records, and partly because I see a lot of info about the general editing process, but it’s generally understood that the actual step-by-step varies a lot. I know that my process won’t be everyone’s process, and it won’t help everyone, but it could be interesting to have some info out there as a comparison point for people.
So here’s what’s happening: Whenever I start a new ‘phase’ of the editing process, I’ll write a quick post about it – what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, what I hope to achieve. Whenever I start a new one, too, I’ll mention anything interesting that went wrong or right, and all that.
Then, I’ll be doing more frequent posts on Twitter – they’ll be more daily things, noting any progress that’s quantitative, whether I feel productive or not, any little minor troubles and foibles, etc. Samples of notes to self may be included if they’re amusing and don’t include too much profanity.
So, with that, next post will be the first of these editing posts, documenting my overarching readthrough. Then I’ll get into the Little Nighmares discussion.
To follow the Twitter part of the discussion, it can be found here or in the sidebar of this blog.