The Joy of Editing…Reposted


I have edited many books in my time, and usually, start at the beginning and go through the draft that way.

This is how I edited my first book “Nine Lives” and I think for a debut, it turned out quite well. It was meant to be a one-of, but the characters had other ideas. Or wasn’t it supposed to end the way it did?

So I was literally forced to continue the story, and when it was time to edit it, an interesting idea occurred to me. I have no idea where it came from, and I don’t think I have heard of other writers doing the same.

This sequel had turned out to be quite complicated. Maybe sequels are, I have no idea, not having written one before. The idea of editing all of the character’s chapters separately seemed like a logical and workable thing to do.
That way I could see if the threads of the story (and their lives) were running fluently and whether there were any gaping plot holes anywhere.
Well, I found quite a lot of holes and several lapses of continuation, leading me to update my running storyboard yet again.

At times, it seemed all I was managing to do was make it even more complicated, and I despaired. As I get older, there seems to be far too much despair happening around me, but I digress.

There are four main characters in “Out of Time” and all are so different from one another, so I concentrated on each one in turn. I found that I could enter their own space and really get to know them personally. The result seems deeper and more rounded, and it is almost time to reunite them into the final book.

There is just one problem though; it falls short of the 60.000 words I was aiming for. Should I rustle up a bit more, or leave well enough alone.

What would you do?

© 2015 Jaye Marie

3 thoughts on “The Joy of Editing…Reposted

  1. The word count is entirely arbitrary, with 60k being a commercial cut-off point for many editors/publishers.
    In my own reading, I find many of my favorite works come in shorter than that. Maybe it’s because my own schedule has usually been pretty packed and finding time for a novel has been precious, especially if I want to take it on in a few sittings rather than over several months.
    So my counsel is simply to leave well enough alone. Besides, if folks come in for the final volume, they have the previous book to fall back on, right?

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