How do you edit?
I’m editing “Yet It Will Come”. I did a read through and fixed grammatical stuff, the simple line-editing bits. I rewrote awkward sentences. Then I considered the plot, the feel of the story and made a list. These are the real edits that need to happen.
- Pacing – slow it down. There’s no rush and it borders on confusing
- because Charlie is so frantic, the writing is too.
- Janice – she needs her story to come out sooner, so in Chapter 29 she makes sense.
- Elliott and Jill – set up that relationship sooner so Chapter 23 makes sense.
- Reconsider Lola’s disclosures to Charlie – the explanation she gives is wonky. It feels inflated and senseless.
- rewrite Megan’s visit to Charlie – Lola is (again) too weird.
- Chapter 3 is too much tell. Figure out a new scene to show those things.
- Charlie needs to narrate more and emote/navel-gaze less.
- Rewrite Charlie’s meltdown after Lola’s absence.
- Tighten the voice. Charlie’s intensity makes the narration jumpy.
So, see, editing is not just red ink marks on a page, or strike-throughs and margin notes. These are major bits of reworking this story.
Mostly, Charlie is so intense that the whole story feels like that. He needs to have more lucidity. He needs to tell the story. (and perhaps that is the fault of being in Present Tense – either 3rd person or past tense may need to come into play to settle that MC down.)
I love Charlie’s passion and the dude has got some amazing moments of losing his grip. I love that he is so unhinged and he lets me be unhinged as a writer. I’ve gotten to go where I don’t normally go with writing because of him. He’s a blast to write. He just needs to settle down and tell the story. My MC needs a Valium.
When I get done editing this I might need one too.