Sunday, December 28, 2014

Beautiful Books: Let's Talk Editing

And here is the final installment in this series hosted by who-was-formerly Notebook Sisters.

1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) how well do you think this book turned out?
I'll give it a six, based purely on potential.

 How could someone care if she were the most beautiful woman in the world or not. What difference could it have made if you were only the third most beautiful. Or the sixth. (Buttercup at this time was nowhere near that high, being barely in the top twenty, and that primarily on potential, certainly not on any particular care she took of herself.) –The Princess Bride by William Goldman

2. Have you ever rewritten or edited one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?
2013 was spent solely editing After the Twelfth Night, and it was excruciating. And I just spelled that without spell check so let me do a mental happy dance because I was sure a squiggly red line was going to show up under that word.
I suppose I don't really prepare for editing... I just dive in. It takes some mental preparation and the stamina to actually begin, but starting a new novel is like that too.

3. What’s your final wordcount? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?
Right now the story is somewhere above 100,000 words. It's hand written so it's a little hard to tell... but if I multiply my average word count per page (276 words) by however many pages I've done, the count is somewhere above 100,000 words. I'm planning  to trim a lot of the scenes that I have now and add some new scenes. Hopefully the book will end up around 100,000 words.

4. What’s are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?
Plot. There are so many unexpected plot changes that showed up and they are all working together perfectly and it's wonderfully epic!

I'm actually quite proud of my characters too, which is surprising. I've said before that I'm not good at characters, and I'm not, but I'm getting better. I'm really looking forward to fleshing out my characters more in the second draft.
(Fleshing out... that just sounds... weird.)
My pacing needs a lot of work.

5. What’s your favourite bit of prose or line from this novel?
You're asking me to search through three notebooks of words to find one bit of prose? Here's a line or two from the second page:

It was time for the next step in the Wicked Witch's plan—the step before world domination. The Witch had to find a beautiful princess to impersonate.

6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?
Heh heh heh... EVERYTHING! Like I mentioned earlier, the pacing definitely needs a lot of work. The plot does too. Things have changed drastically from the first few thousand words, and then changed to something different, and then changed back to the first thing again.
Inconsistency errors. Ages, dates, plot... Also, I need to do a pile of world building, especially in the religion area. At first I wanted to write my story to be Tolkien-like, with no religion, because I felt that to add in religion would make my story a conversion story instead of an adventure, and I didn't want that. In this first draft, I left religion and a God-figure completely out. I'm realizing now, however, that it's unrealistic to have a society with no religion. Even the most hidden-away bushmen worship something. Every culture in history has had some sort of god. I need to figure all that out.

7. What aspect of your book is your favourite?
The plot. I love intricate plots where forgotten things at the beginning of the story come into play at the end and are, in fact, important. Not in an Eragon-type prophecy way... but in a Beorn fighting in the Battle of the Five Armies way.

8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed-out?
They need fleshing, but I think they are on the way to becoming rather cool! Either that or annoying. I hope they're not annoying, but I have a feeling they might be. That's for beta readers to decide, I suppose.

9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?
I'm not sure. Maybe I would choose to write it on the computer, instead of hand-writing it.

10. Did anything happen in your book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?
Yes. A new character surprised me! I was not expecting that, but he is turning out to be a nice enough guy... He needs a lot of work, though.

11. What was the theme and message? Do you think it came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring it out more?
There are many messages in this story, I think. It's turning out to be a bit allegorical, but not in the normal way. There is no Christ-character, but a lot of Christian morals are presented in the book. The overall theme of the book is becoming Don't shirk your responsibilities.

12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?
I have to write to a deadline or else nothing gets done! NaNoWriMo is really helpful because I can see my progress on their fancy bar-thing. My dad just showed me how to make one of those bar-things on Excel, though, so now I don't need to rely on only one month of the year to get things done!

13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men, etc.)
How about every fantasy book ever meets Edmund Spenser and Shrek.

14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!
I shout to the whole world that IT'S FINISHED!!!!!

15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
I hope they appreciate the work that went into this book. I don't care if only five people ever read it, so long as they realize the literary significance and careful planning that went into each sentence (or, will go into each sentence, once I start editing!)

Live long and prosper!


  1. If you had typed it up on the computer, I'd be begging you to let me read it. As it is, I shall just wish you luck in the rewriting business. Such fun. I just finished rewriting three notebooks worth of writing myself. When you finish typing it up, let me know, and then I'll beg you to let me read it, offering my rewritten book in exchange. (Unless, of course, I've already giving it to you because I'm going to need beta readers for its release at the end of next August. I'm ambitious. Then we'll have to Discuss something.)

    1. Thank you for that 'luck,' it is much appreciated! And I'm definitely up to Discussing a book exchange (...if I ever finish mine... haha), though I'd gratefully give you mine for nothing in return but your opinion.

  2. 100,000!!!! That is a lot!! Way to go!!!