Here begins the edit pass of an upcoming book that I’m going to refer to as tKC.
Some stats to begin with – since I won’t be talking about a previous phase of editing here, I’m just going to fill in some details of the actual book so that people have an idea of what I’m talking about.
For the next n months (where n hopefully equals less than three but honestly who knows), I will be working on tKC. It’s the first part of a duology, but I’ll only be working on the first part on this go-through.
I have both written and not written the second half of the story: the short version is this, I started this story a few years back, finished it, and realised it needed a lot of expansion. My story was fine, but the characters weren’t explored in depth enough, the plot felt a little rushed, and there was a lot of setting that was just left completely unexplored and unexplained. I since rewrote and expanded, but only the first half. The second half of the plot is waiting for early next year to get its turn on the pottery wheel – for now I know where the story is going, basically, and what needs to happen, but there are large swathes of it that still need to be actually put to paper.
(This is different to my usual tactic – generally I need the entire story to be on the page before I start doing substantive edits, but since I’m starting to actually gear up for bringing books out, I’m starting to see how much I can adjust that model before things start to go off the rails).
Vital statistics of the book: in its current incarnation, it is 150,415 words long. (Completely irrelevant but for context: original version with both halves together was ~90,000 words). It has 3 POV characters, and the bulk of it takes place in three different “areas” (one city, one small town, and one country more generally).
Aaaand that’s about it.
Also – this entire live will be mostly spoiler-free. You might get place or character names, or mentions of minor worldbuilding details, but I’m not going to mention any plot points, major or minor, and any discussions of character motivation will be in the format of “Character X needs to do Y to Character Z, but I have reasons A, B and C that they can’t or shouldn’t, so I need to come up with a workaround.”
So, on to stage 1. Stage one is the flat read.
It’s been … checking my date-modified info … about six months since I finished the rewrite (apparently I went back and made a change to a chapter in the middle about four months ago, but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you what that was – it definitely wasn’t a major change. Maybe I went back to read a chapter for some reason and fixed a comma or grammar error while I was there?)
I’ve also been writing and editing a lot of other things in between then and now, so at the moment I need to get my head back into the story. I also need to get an idea of where the bits are that I need to fix, and I’d like to get an overview of the story so that I can think about pacing, and how the whole thing fits together. Things like whether it feels like one POV character in particular gets too few or too many sections.
(At the time of writing this, I’ve actually already started the read-through, but I’m only in the first couple of chapters. More details in the Twitter version).
After I’ve finished this read, I’ll hopefully have an overview idea of what the story looks like up till the halfway break, and I’ll have list of things that I want to fix going into the next stages.
For this section, I’ll be keeping you updated on interesting notes I make to myself, let you know what I’m finding as I read, and of course, give an indication of how long it takes me to read through the whole thing.
So here’s the link again: My Twitter Page – otherwise, this will continue when I have finished and can debrief and update.