Wednesday, September 22, 2010

my Novel's Journey: Mind Over Mind Edits

Once again, Discovery takes a back seat to a more pressing writing need; this time, the first round edits to Mind Over Mind.

This is the revision of the first novel I'd ever written, the story of a young man who develops psychic powers, and has aliens communicate with him. The experiences drive him insane, and at the start of the book, he's been in an asylum for five years when a young intern decides to help him by pretending to believe him and teaching him to control his powers. In the meantime, the aliens--representatives of warring factions--each think he's their savior and try to get him to fight on their side.

I've loved this story for a long time, but knew the manuscript needed some work, so I'm very pleased to have Gabrielle Harbowy, editor of DragonMoon give it a very critical eye. It's the most invasive editing I've ever had, with scenes that need re-written and some changes in the placement and flow of the text. Overall, however, I've loved her suggestions. Revising has been an exciting experience.

It's been a couple of years since I've seen this manuscript, so my first run of edits is really more of a read-through. I'm approving all the changes I agree with and writing new scenes as they come to mind. Where a change is needed that doesn't immediately hit me, I make a note and move on. Most of the scene changes so far have been to alter point of view switches within scenes. This has been fun because I get to live the book with my characters all over again.

I've gotten through 214 pages in three days, and figure I'll finish it this weekend. Then, I'll go through it looking for the bigger issues: Is my character flawed enough? Are the chapter sizes more even? Did I chop up flashback, or change some to flow in real time?

In the meantime, I am still working on Discovery. I'm trying to write 500 words a day. So far, Sister Ann is taking center stage. A couple of days ago, she came up with a very interesting quote about pain and fear, faith and knowledge and how sometimes you need all four for an epiphany. The next day, I wrote a scene where she declared someone a genius because he just skipped straight to the epiphany. The fun thing about Ann is going to be that none of the characters are going to understand her, but the reader is going to be able to see all the connections.

No comments: