A week before my second novel Iron Junction hits the shelves, and I'm doing what every writer does at this point - working on the next one. I finished the first draft of what I'm calling Base Nowhere before Christmas, and for the last two weeks I've been reading and making my editing plan.
As many of you will know, I'm a huge fan of planning in writing and editing. And so now, I have mine for my first structural review. And here's the truth: I have 85 scenes in total. Of those:
- 7 (8%) need replacing completely
- 24 (28%) need substantial rewrites
- 44 (52%) need minor edits
- 10 (12%) I can keep pretty much in tact.
In addition, I have 17 structural issues in my notebook, and 355 comments in my word document, which are a combination of flags to aid solving the 17 issues, some smaller structural issues, and a few things that are working and are marked so that I don't accidentally delete them. It sounds like a lot of work (it is) but I've done this before, and it's where the magic happens.
I have no issues with calling my first draft the "shitty first draft" as Kim Wilkins would say. I went through the same process with both Ryders Ridge and Iron Junction. And this is before I give it to a trusted editor to give me their opinion for my second edit. I love that I know what I have to do (well, I know what's wrong, at least ;)). But most of all, despite its faults, I love the story. And that's why all this is worth it - to find the very best version of the story within that first draft.
So, from now begins the real work, even as I'm starting to percolate ideas for the book that comes after this one. But there's no work I would rather do. If you'd like to love this trial of editing too, how about joining me for Year of the Edit at QWC? Happy writing.