Thursday, January 13, 2011
My Novel's Journey: Mind Over Matter edits
It's been about four years since I wrote Mind Over Matter, the second book in my Miscria trilogy. Now, with the edits to Mind Over Mind done and DragonMoon happy with the manuscript, it's time to clean this one up. The goal: Have it ready by March to submit to DragonMoon.
The nice thing about having worked with an editor and the first book is that I know what Gabrielle likes and does not like, and I can look at this manuscript with "new eyes." Four years of sitting while I grew as a writer certainly helped. This is actually my second manuscript, written in a crazy month and clocking in at 132,000 words when I added a couple of chapters from the first book that I decided to cut so that Mind Over Mind did not end on a cliffhanger.
I had printed it out back in 2007, which helped relieve some of the scare when I could not find the file. (Did find it) and so I could read it without the temptation of tweaking on the computer. Now, I could see the redundancies, the unneeded background, the self-indulgent prose, the unnecessary flashbacks. the story was still sound, and the characters lots of fun, but (as Gabrielle pointed out), making the action more present and less explanatory makes them really shine.
So that's been my goal, with steps of 1-2 chapters a day, a total of 6-8 a week. The first few chapters were easy, but when I hit chapter six, I hit Land O Flashback, and it's been a tough slog moving things and rewriting. Re-imagining a scene is fun, but time-consuming, and sometimes intimidating, especially when you haven't lived the characters in awhile.
Naturally, now that my characters had room to move, they wanted to boogie! One character, the heroine, is taking more of a backseat (she did this in the first book, too), while a minor character that didn't get a big role until the last third of the book is now a major player. I'm hoping things get back on the old track at least enough so I don't have to rewrite the last 300 pages, but regardless, it's going to be a fun ride--for me, for my editor, and eventually for you!