My Young Adult novel has now reached the stage where the framework is established, and I’m pretty well done my first draft, I guess. Now it’s time to go back through it and fill in missing scenes. This is actually a little exciting in some ways, and I’m enjoying it.
Sometimes I realize a scene I meant to happen later wasn’t late enough, so I needed to go back and write a preperatory scene before it. Other times the scene needs more scenes after it to incorporate something important into the story more. Still other times I remember something and go to the big finale to include elements of it. It’s actually a bit of an adventure.
I’m learning how to tie the whole story together. As my character learns to use her skills, she needs to build those skills in a logical order. Did I skip ahead, let her learn too big a skill, then go back? That’s the sort of question I need to answer with this editing round.
Yup, it’s the first revision and addition editing. My focus in on plot and consistency. I have a white board that I can make notes on and keep track of everything. My cork board is for planning plots, and my white board is for revising plots. It works well so far!
Once I’m happy with my plot and story, then I’ll be going back and starting round two of editing, which will be about wording and language usage. Am I being clear? Is there enough description, or worse, too much? Does she share how she feels and do you feel close to her? Who doesn’t love a pony? All these important questions to deal with.
Then will be the grammar and spelling run through of editing. I’ll spend as much time editing my book, or more, as I spent writing it. Now, to be fair, the first two rounds of editing are just another form of writing, so I count those as writing time, personally. Still, it’s exciting to begin the first stage of editing. I’m having fun, and it’s going better than I thought.
Part of it going well is only focusing on one or two things each time I edit. I can look at that one task and it feels more achievable. If I look at everything, I’ll lose some of the details. That won’t let me do nearly as good a job as if I really take my time and focus.
So, get writing, no matter how crappy that first draft is. Then you can make it pretty later. Plot holes? Skip them and finish the story. You may know what happens later, when you see how it all fits together.
I’ve been writing stories for myself for years. Now, I’m a published author. No genre is off limits, though I have some favorites.