As avid Twitter followers will already know, I’ve been entering a difficult phase of editing recently. My current novel in progress (the Satan one I mentioned earlier) is coming along well, but thanks to both my own instinctive genius and some insightful feedback from my writing group, I have a lot of changes to make already.
I am currently roughly 57% through the book – I worked that out with a calculator – and already I know I need to rewrite four chapters from close to the beginning and probably massively rejig even the most recent ones I’ve done.
Yesterday’s editing project: work out how to combine chapters 4 and 5 into a new, unified chapter 4, whilst sticking the original end of chapter 4 at the end of chapter 3.
Last week’s editing project: chapter 10 became chapter 12, and then I needed to write a new chapter 10 to fill the gap, and in the future probably rewrite chunks of chapters 11 and 12 to get everything in line.
I mean, I haven’t even reached two thirds yet – the rough plan is to write the final third for NaNoWriMo, and I’m sure you’ll here more about that on the blog and/or Twitter in a few weeks – but presumably more stuff is going to come up as I work on that?
I’m not particularly used to editing happening in so big a way; I’ve struggled in the past with working out how best to move parts around on this scale, so this is a big step forward for me. It’s exciting, and I’m 99% sure I’ll emerge with a much better story at the end of it, presuming I survive, and maybe I’ll even hone the necessary instincts to get the plan more right when I start the next book.
Still, as someone who has more or less always written in order until now, rewriting so many different parts of the same story hurts my head a little when I stand back and think about it, and I still feel a bit glum about the amount of already-done work I’ll end up throwing away. But I think this is still a positive progression, and at least I’ll always have Hobson & Choi, forced to be linear thanks to the weekly release schedule.
If anyone has sympathetic time-warping editing stories, feel free to toss them out in the comments. In the wrong order, if you like.