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Rebooting the Edit Process

Monday, June 12th, 2006

It’s time to get back to editing my first novel. I’m going to start over. I read lots of articles on editing when I started, and one of them really stuck out: Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Manuscript Revision. I recently re-read the article, and it makes a lot more sense now. Right from the opening it grabbed me and said, “Just start over and try this.”

The first draft of your novel is finished. Now, according to the recommendations of any number of writing books, pundits, and writers who go through this themselves, you’re in for five or ten or more rounds of revision, in which you’ll polish your work until it is a gleaming, perfect pearl … and in which process you’ll dither for months or years.

You can do that if you want. But you don’t have to.

I believed that when I read it the first time, but I didn’t have the confidence to try it. Instead I tried something which can only be called “my way.” I can tell you with great confidence that “my way” sucks big time. Maybe I needed to fail on my own before trusting someone else on this. Who knows.

So I need to start with the Supplies section, and the thing that sticks out right now is:

A table where you have room to stack your manuscript into three piles and have the spiral-bound notebook open at the same time.

Yeah. I have that. It’s the rear section of my desk. Problem is it currently looks like this:

Supplies: The Desk

So that’ll be step one for me. Clean the desk!

The First Draft

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Things are still pretty busy here, but I did find the time to print out my first draft. It’s an interesting feeling holding the book in my hands. For one thing it weighs a lot more that I would have thought.

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