I’ve been working on editing my Essence project all this year, and I am learning a lot from the process. The developmental edit I received from Jami Nord at Chimera Editing (http://www.chimeraediting.com ) was amazingly useful in knowing what I needed to work on, but also gave me some insight into what I might be doing alright on.
Some of the things I did learn:
- I have a bit of a pacing problem, in that everything kind of happens all at once after the midpoint. I don’t know if my edits are going to give my readers a breath here and there, but it’s something I’m trying to keep in mind for future drafts.
- I use waaay to much passive phrasing. ‘Was running’ ‘was starting to stab’ etc. This was one I could clear up, but it’s also something I am learning to catch myself on when I write.
- I need to slow down a little on my first drafts and show more of what I want to show. I’m a heavy plotter, I don’t need to find the story as I race through writing. I need to take a step back and take a little more time to actually describe setting, characters interactions, and emotions. Putting them in after works, but I want to get my writing to a point where I don’t have to do 18 editing passes before it starts to resemble something not embarrassing. (thats an exaggeration. maybe.)
- I didn’t have any gaping plot holes or wtf moments that needed major work to fix. Most of the plot issues with it were things that needed to be added to flesh it out more than needing to be fixed so that the plot could actually work. I have that going for me, at least! I still of course can continue to improve in how I plot and structure stories, but its so nice to know that I’m better than I was a year ago.
That’s the biggest takeaway I’m getting from editing my manuscript. I’m getting better, and even I can admit it. (Own worst critic here) The polished more beautiful draft is huge and wonderful, and I have hope I can sell this one, but the things I’m learning and am going to be able to apply to my next manuscript and the one after that? Makes me realize this whole author thing isn’t a pipe dream, and someday (hopefully soon. please let it be soon) I’m going to have the skills needed to kick some ass at this gig.