Thursday, December 10, 2009
My Editing Journey: Things to do to Discovery
Lots of slicing and dicing to do, some re-arranging, and a whole lot of re-write!
1. Cut down the first chapter. There's too much talk and it moves too slowly compared to the rest. I spend a lot of time explaining things I can show later, and have details that turned out to be unimportant when looking at the entire thing.
2. Cut out some characters. GenSup Hayden didn't prove to be important to the plot. I'll cut him and spread his tasks among other characters. Similarly, a new character showed up that I adored, but he could not accomplish his goals. Meanwhile, the ship's doctor was perfectly suited to accomplish his mission, but had no use until near the end. I can combine them into one character.
3. Make Sr. Ann speak in snatches of quotes, technical specs and insights. She started out as a sweet, straightforward girl, but in the last half started having visions and speaking in gibberish that makes a lot of sense to herself and to the readers (for the most part), but not to everyone else. I came to realize that she was always like this to some degree, but stress will make it more pronounced. So I need to re-write. Besides, she's much more fun when she's talking like River from Firefly!
4. Foreshadow events by developing other characters earlier on. Several characters end up playing a bigger role and having some major issues toward the end. I need to go back and give hints. Ian needs compulsive handwashing, for instance.
5. Cut the talk. I'm a dialogue person, so there is a lot of talk in the NaNo part of the book. I need to be brutal in chopping out the unneeded stuff, putting in some action or a couple of one-sentence summaries.
6. Give characters their names. Too many times, I wrote GUYNAME when I couldn't decide who would do what? Or I'd forget someone's last name or title.
7. Detail check. My rescue bags had air for 12 hours, then 30 minutes, then 2 hours. You'd think I'd remember how much air was in this piece of equipment.
8. When do I write tech that would have solved a problem? If so, I need to write it out or change the problem. Done that once already, and it made for a better ending.
9. Make sure characters are consistent. I'm pretty certain a few changed personalities mid-book.
10. Polish the timeline.
So, you know, not much to do...