Here’s the part where I roll up my sleeves and do the tougher part of the job–the edits.
Right now I’m tackling my pirate manuscript that still has no name. My titles for other stories either fit from the get-go, or struck me in an inspired moment. So far, all I keep calling it is…pirate story. So original.
When I go through my edits though, I’ve got a certain process I utilize. First, I do a readthrough of the story to see if major plot issues, pacing problems or character inconsistencies stand out. Secondly, I do a cursory edit of the whole thing, only touching upon glaring grammatical issues and such. And then I find a critiquing partner.
Why, you ask? After all, don’t you want your best work to be shown?
Yes and no. Look, we all know getting critiques can be rough and we can get defensive or stubborn about making changes to our babies. At least, I get that way. This has been my method to keep an open mind during critiques. If I haven’t poured all my time and lifeblood into editing this baby, pruning all it’s tiny little word issues and fixing all the big stuff, I’ll be more open and welcoming to making major changes–I’m talking cutting a chapter, adding a section in, etc. I’m less liable to hold onto what I’ve written, which is where I become the best person for editing my work: when I’m flexible. It’s taken years to figure that delicate cusp for me, but so far, it’s worked.
Hence why, right now I’m working through that cursory edit and snipping a bit here, tweaking a bit there.
And I’m already past page 100, so I’d say I’m making pretty good time. I’ve reached the section where Serafina and the crew of the Crimson Orchid are infiltrating one of the elite’s parties. It’s a blast to write the elegant ballroom scene, but it was also a brilliant place to display the atrocities that the elite can commit and push her over the edge. It’s a big catalyst to the turning point in the book–and one I’m excited to get to.