One project I’ve been attempting to bring to the front burner—giving it much-needed priority—is my manuscript. After finishing drafting it, I’ve moved into the editing stage, bringing on a whole new scope of writing challenges.
I’m not new to editing/revising my writing, but each piece has its own demands, making this manuscript its own beast.
I do have an advantage on my manuscript, though: This isn’t my first draft. But, it is my first finished draft. I worked with many different ideas to shape the story, never completing any of them. As a result, in this finished draft, I’ve got the storyline and general idea of the character arc fairly nailed down (I hope).
So, in editing, I’m focusing on adding description, fleshing out scenes, delving into the character’s psyche more, and ironing out style. Which actually seems like a lot when I’m listing it all out. In reality, though, it doesn’t feel like that many things when I’m editing since these are all fairly standard things I work with during my editing process. But it does feel like a lot of words to edit.
I’ve never editing anything this long before. My longest projects have never stretched over the 10,000 word mark. Still, I like working with a longer form because it allows me more space to work in some more complex and multi-layered plot and character elements (not that short stories aren’t complex or multi-layered).
At this point, I’m in the middle stages of editing. As I said, I like where the story and character are at in large strokes, but I’m not all in a twist about grammar or miniscule style at this point. I also typically edit in groupings, meaning I edit lots of elements rather than only homing in on adding description in one edit-though. Sometimes I can’t see if a section isn’t working until I’ve got the section polished on a more micro-level.
As I’ve started this editing process, I’ve been surprisingly bored with it, but it occurred to me that a lot of the content in the opener is exposition, worldbuilding, &c., which aren’t my favorite things to write (I’m more interesting in doing the character treatments). Soon enough though I should be in the bulk of the narrative where there’s more going on with the characters once the general story is established.
To track my editing progress, there’s a progress meter in the sidebar (below the post on mobile) that I’ll be updating each week. It’s just for the first edit-through since I don’t know how many pass-throughs I’ll need (I’ll reset the meter after each pass-through). I’ll also be writing periodic updates under the category Manuscript Progress.
Thanks for reading!