I changed tacks. I am not going to record the revised draft until I finish the entire book. This will allow me to get the book into the hands of my Beta Readers faster. When that is done, I am planning to purchase better recording equipment for the audio, and also look into audio book software. My friend, Joe Follansbee, knows all about recording and has written a blog about it. He will be a valuable asset for me. Thanks, Joe!
My major intent for the revised draft edit is to ensure my writing style is not noticeably different from the beginning of the book to the ending. I am fully aware of how rapidly my style has changed over the past two-and-a-half years—even since last September, when I started into the second draft of the novel.
A crucial change I made to this draft was changing the very first paragraph of the book. I was worried that it would not grab the reader’s attention. I have been reading a lot about openings. I gave it a lot of thought. And then, I figured it out. It used to start something like this:
Malcan took the first watch. He carefully circled the camp, getting a feel for the landscape and looking for places a person could hide. He felt a tingle go up his spine, then warily headed down the animal trail on which they had arrived.
I changed it to this:
Malcan felt a tingle go up his spine. The hair raised the back of his neck. He warily headed down the animal trail that led away from the camp.
Feedback on this particular change would be very welcome.
The most obvious difference in the second draft from the beginning to the ending was that my sentences had become much shorter and less complex—predominantly due to breaking them up into multiple smaller segments by removing “and” and “then.” A result of this was the paragraphs began to be shorter as I noticed there were multiple charater/actions going on within paragraphs. I am now attempting to make each paragraph discreet to an individual character—unless there are multiple characters engaged in the action. I have mentioned this in previous postings as I went through the second draft, where I included examples. Surprising to me, I ended up changing a bunch more of these in Part One of this edit pass. I am fairly certain that there will be far fewer of these changes as I progress through the book this time.
Another focus for this edit has been to eliminate overuse of “just” and “sigh.” Once I started looking for these, I found an abundance of both. For “just,” I usually just removed them without changing anything else about the sentence. Several of my characters did a lot of sighing. I changed those occurances to describe their feelings in other ways. I like both of these edits. These are tough ones for me to notice, until someone mentions it—more often than not, in a writing blog—which is why I include these as I discover them. They will help me as I go through the next book, and I hope they might help you, as well.
In this draft of Part One, I trimmed another seven hundred words. It was mostly due to the changes I described above, but I am also becoming more critical of whether a word or phrase or sentence is actually neccesary. I have not gotten to removing scenes yet. Determining what to remove will likely be the part editing that I am the least good at. That is what an editor is for. I will probably hire an editor after I do another edit based on the feedback from my Beta Readers. This is my first time going through this process, so I do a lot of guessing (and a lot of learning).
I would like to make my way through all my notes before I send out the Beta. There are a few things I want to add. I think they will help to flesh out a couple of the characters. I will be careful not to add too much.
There are four more parts to go. I hope to finish the editing and have the ebook ready for my Beta Readers by the end of September. If you are interested in becoming a Beta Reader, contact me at: TheWolfDreamBooks@gmail.com.
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