Breaking it Down

Blog Post No. 514

giphy-2I’m a little embarrassed at how long it took me to get back into the edits on the Invasion Novel, but I’ve finally started to go over Christian‘s notes. As I suspected (and worried about) he had a few big picture suggestions that will really make the book better. The problem is that now I have to make those changes which involves going through the whole novel and making sure I connect all the dots so it makes any kind of sense.

Two of the suggestions actually require making small changes in many, many places, so, I hope you understand why I was hesitant to get started. I knew it was a big job and that starting and stopping (leaving too much time between) would make the work that much harder. I was also hoping for the day job to settle down a bit so I could put more focus on the edits and not be wiped out more days a week than not, but that didn’t happen.

break-front-coverWhat really took me aback was how much more work editing a novel is over a Novella. The longest first draft I wrote before the Invasion Novel was for the fourth novella, Break/Interrupt. It was so long that several people suggested I add a little to it and make it a novel rather than trim it down to a novella. I did ultimately get it down, but it’s still the longest of the Synthetic Albatross Series by a large margin. It’s only a fraction of the length of the Invasion Novel, though. And the work isn’t one-to-one. If the novel is about three times the length of the novella, it’s more than three times the work to fix up.

What I’ve done in order to finally make some progress is to break down this draft into bit sized pieces. But, rather than take it a few chapters at a time (making the process of changing things throughout the book harder) I’ve started by going through and just working on the surface level edits. It’s like plaining timber. On this pass, I’m fixing line edits (typos, convoluted sentences, and my worst offense, repeated words). While doing that, I’ve taken notes for the larger fixes, marking down what chapters will be affected by the big changes and where I need to cut or add.admiredcoldgeese-size_restricted

It’s really helped me to not feel overwhelmed and I think I’m actually making some headway. There’s still a lot of work to do and this is only the first of, hopefully, several more beta reads. If you’ve read any of my other posts, I’m sure you know how much I value routine and procedures. This feels like the start of a new system for editing novels that I can build off of and modify as I learn more. But that’s not what’s important today. Today I need to put in more time on this edit.

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