I finished the first draft of Thirteenth Wish about two months ago, but I've been too busy with promoting Jarred Dreams to do any work on it. That ends today.
It will be an advantage that I have had so much distance from the book as it will give me a chance to look at the entire story in an objective way.
I have watched the amazing editing tips video of N M Browne and my nose is now in Stephen King On Writing (finished Mumnesia which was a fabulous read - would recommend it). I will also go back to my course notes and revisit the on-line course that I'm doing for editing tips and pointers.
What I will do next is to print off the first draft, go through and scrawl all over it, then I will ask all those important questions that Nicky suggests:
1. Who is the story about?
2. Is your story the real story or is there a different story hiding behind that would be better?
3. Do you have enough characters or too many?
4. Is the story being told through the characters or is it too much from your own head?
5. Do you need to change the way the story is being told e.g tense? POV?
6. What do you need to take out? E.g. too much description?
7. What needs more page time? Have you rushed important scenes or plot points?
8. Write a synopsis of the story - can you sum it up in one sentence?
9. Try to pitch the book - can you? Easily?
10. Go back to the plan - does the story fit? Is there character arcs? Does the ending satisfy the reader and relate to the beginning?
11. Does it make sense? Is it consistent or have you left unanswered threads?
Those are the main ones and creates a new draft, usually completely different to the original. The next stage then repeats this process, but hopefully this draft will answer these questions without needing too much altering.
It is only afterwards that I do the more detailed pruning and editing: making sure each word is doing it's job and needs to be there.
Lots of work ahead - best get cracking.
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