03 July 2008

Making the changes

I'm a bit light on blogging at the moment because I'm fully immersed in my editing pass over my manuscript. The rewriting's finished, and I'm two-thirds (three-quarters?) through the edit, and I'm loving it. The process, that is.

Some days are better than others though. A few days I got to a scene that just wasn't working for me -- too passive, too much telling of things after the event. The fix wasn't too difficult. I moved the scene backwards in time so that I could show the events as they were unravelling. It's not an action scene, but it feels a lot more active now. Of course it meant I added about 400 words, at a time I'm desperate to cut words. That said, I've eliminated nearly 3000 at about the halfway point, so I'm on target. (Well, I would've liked to get rid of 10-15k, but realistically that was never going to happen because I'm also trying to add some characterisation and some non-plot related thinking.)

The day before yesterday, though, I came across a different kind of hurdle. Let me backtrack... When I started the edit pass, I had a brainwave about how to increase one of the main character's motivations so wrote a new scene that I banged in at the start of her story, and have been editing along the way to take this into account. It was all working beautifully until I got to the midway point and realised that I'd undermined one of the basic tenets that I'd based my alien culture's society on. Oh, dear. What to do? In the end such decisions can only be made when taking into account what will most benefit the story. And this time having the stronger motivation is a definite plus, so I've had to rethink that aspect of their society. It took me most of a day to sort that out, so I felt frustrated at the end of the day with how little progress I'd made, but the main thing was that I had made progress, and that I'd ironed out what could've been a problem further down the track. And in fact it still might -- but I'll be looking for it as I continue editing and will be able to fix it as I go. Bring it on!

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