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Elemental Experimentation, Week 4

Elemental Experimentation, Week 4

Elemental Progress This Week:

Read-through: 3.5 hours
Editing: 8.75 hours
Naming Characters and Places: 2.75 hours
Formatting Scrivener: 1.25 hours

Elemental has a title: Deadlines and Dryads!

Having finished writing the first draft, my focus shifted this week to perfecting it. For starters, I had a lot of characters and places to name. I had left myself filler words, such as naming a character Bingo, so I could keep my momentum while I was writing. Naming took far longer than I thought it should, but since these people and places will be making repeat appearances in the gargoyle world, I wanted to make sure I got it right.

Reading through the book was fun; it reaffirmed that I have an entertaining story and let me revel in my own accomplishment for a few hours. I also used the read-through to jot down notes of everything that needed to be changed in each chapter.

After the heady rush of writing thousands of words a day, this week felt like moving through quicksand. My editing pace averaged around one page an hour. That’s dreadful! I have a few theories about this abysmal pacing:

  • The first draft is me telling myself the story; the second draft is me making it into a novel, which typically involves edits to every paragraph, if not every sentence. I’m hoping that with experience, I’ll get better at writing polished words in the first draft, but I’m not holding my breath.
  • I always take longer to edit the first chapter, mainly because there are usually details that need to be inserted so the story flows more true to how it turned out versus how I outlined it. I don’t have any major rewrites for this story (HUZZAH!!!!), but I have some scenes that need tweaking to fit the final theme and action sequences.
  • First chapters are crucial in setting up the theme, setting up the tone, introducing characters, introducing the problem, and in general being as exciting and grab-the-reader oriented as possible. That’s a lot of pressure on a thousand words or so. All those editing hours were spent going over the same 9 pages a few times to get the first chapter as beautiful as possible.
  • A bit of going slow had to do with my extreme desire to do nothing with this story for another week. If I had the time I would have taken this week off from all things creative and done only marketing-related tasks, but my deadline does not allow for that.

You’ll note that it looks like I hardly worked if you tally up all the hours. That’s because I had a lot of other bits and bobbles to catch up on after having put all of my focus into writing the book.

Last week, I thought I would be much farther in the edits and have a true snippet for you. I don’t. I don’t want to post something I’m not proud of, so the snippet will have to wait.

Have a great weekend!

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