Saturday, 5 March 2016

Third Edit

I'm well on the way with editing The Queen's Courier for the third time. The end is in sight, which gives me the energy to carry on, because editing takes so much more energy than writing.  Instead of enjoying getting the story down the best way I can, my critical sense has to work overtime and spending too much time at it makes my brain hurt! It is demanding, tiresome and so necessary.

Have I weeded out all those unnecessary words like "almost, just, felt," and the rest? Yes. The book is at least 500 words shorter because of that exercise. Have I checked for formatting errors, like repeated chapters - I don't know how that happens, but it has, occasionally - indentation slip ups, font size changes, or even worse - heaven forbid - Font changes. Yes, and many more. I have to be extra careful about a missing v - my keyboard refuses to print a v unless I hit it really hard, so every now and then I get eery instead of every.  Most annoying. (And yes, I've tried several times to clean out whatever it is that stops it working. Possibly dog hair, or my hair curled around the spring. or whatever it is that makes it work. The fault certainly isn't anything visible)

Then there are the ungrammatical sentences. How could I have written such a thing? But I did and it must go. Either that or it needs to be assimilated into another sentence. Reading back like this, I can see where one sentence will do the job of two, and do it so much better - and sometimes, more gracefully. If only I had seen it on the first draft!

POV slips have been my major bugbear on this wip. I've intensified the use of Deep Third for each character, though there are times when it is inappropriate, such as opening new chapters or scenes. Then the scene must be set and that is hard to do unless the readers can relax knowing you have only one character - and how rare is that? I've decided I'm not altogether a fan of Deep Third anyway, and perhaps won't use it again.

Best of all are the deletions. Repetitions, saying the same thing three chapters apart, info dumps, backstory that isn't required - they all go. I'm maybe six or seven thousand words lighter now than when I began this last edit, so that is all to the good.

PS I apologise to the people who read my last post before I checked it over and corrected all the mistakes!

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