Happy New Year!
We’re back from vacation – you know, that month we call December with a few days in January thrown in for fun. Our Muses are full of family escapades, food and hopefully ready to dive in to our admittedly overly padded novels from November. Our novels have been percolating in the back of our minds for an entire month! Are you ready to edit?
Great! First things first, as they say. Take those extraneous paragraphs, scenes and folders from your Word Wars and late night ramblings out of your novel and tuck them away in a separate document. Don’t make the mistake of deleting them; they might have hidden gems relevant to your story or an entirely new one in the making. Also, go through your novel and re-add those hyphenated words – things like “do not” and “can not” and “will not”. No one really talks that way and we don’t like reading it either. Capitalize what should be and uncapitalize what shouldn’t. Fix glaring spelling errors. Shorten names. When that’s done, save your file – perhaps under a new document title.
The next step’s a doozy, it might take you a while. Ready? Print out your new file, in whatever format makes you happy and is readable, and do a once through looking for major plot holes. Be sure to write them down as you come across them. Highlight the section or sentences corresponding, and take notes! A few ideas on what should go there will be helpful when it’s time to write. But remember, this is not the time to fix the errors; it’s to see what and where they are. It may take you a week or the rest of the month. Both are okay.
~ Your Dedicated MLs