Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Editing To Do List

I was originally going to post about everything I learned at the forensics workshop I attended last night, but then I realized that this post would end up about two paragraphs long, and that's not cool. So I'm going with Plan B, which is all about The Novel.

For those who missed my announcement on Twitter, I finished a round of edits on my book last night. I was working on adding content because I'd slashed huge chunks out of the manuscript and was desperately in need of word count. I think the book barely qualified as a novella. It's firmly in novel territory again (though sadly still slightly below the recommended word count of 80k*), but that doesn't mean my work is done.

Just in case anyone thought editing was easy, here's what I have to do still before the manuscript goes to my betas**:

  • In the first few chapters, set the world up more. There've been power shifts and population drops, and right now we have no feel for that.
  • Also, this world has superheroes. Where the heck are they, exactly?
  • We barely have any feel for what the bad guys are doing. They're there, they surface reasonably often, but we get no sense of their goal even if we get their personalities and philosophy.
  • We need to overhear a series of conversations indirectly related to the goal of the bad guys.

  • On the subject of superheroes, there's a fairly important secondary character who is one, but we don't meet him for a while. I need to add more references to his character before we do, or some of the reactions in that scene won't make sense.
  • My hero gets beat up a lot, but doesn't seem to be feeling the physical effects enough.
  • Someone figures out what my hero is up to. However, we don't see the steps taken to reach that conclusion.
  • My hero needs to do some self-practice before a few scenes, because right now, stuff's coming out of nowhere. 
  • For that matter, my hero needs to describe himself better. And so does the villain. ***
  • Villain needs to have more problems. With robots, but especially with … other things.
  • Hero needs more anger at his dad. Or I need to scrap that all together.

  • I need to figure out how prevalent Asian honorifics are in this society. And then I need to change various appellations to fit that.
  • The villain's narration might be too choppy in places. I need to smooth it out.
  • I need to do a pass focussing on clich├ęs, and change them to something geeky or something world-related as needed.
  • I need to do a pass focussing on current slang and speech patterns, and futurize them.
  • I need to remove most of the instances of: look, sigh, glare, laugh, nod, grin, go, sound (v), actually, really, pretty, thing, stuff, nice, was, was -ing, just, wonder, start, to be, begin, feel, seem, appear, it had/was

I also need to make notes of words and objects I've invented, so I can refer back to it, and I need to punch every plot point into iCal, my handy timeline device****, along with boring things like work schedules and travel times. (And then I need to match that timeline up with date references in the book.) Oh, and I need to put chapter breaks back in, because the book's currently organized by date.

It's a lot to do, but I shall triumph! Hopefully this year, even! I even know how I'm going to fix the problems, though I'm crossing my fingers that this is the finite list and nothing else is going to pop up.

* Whatever. 75k is close enough and it's going to get longer.
** I've rewritten my notes a little to give better context. And gloss over spoilers.
*** Villain ≠ bad guys
**** Seriously, iCal is awesome. It's already saved my butt a few times on this novel.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Good luck! It sounds like you have a good plan set up...