Yes, I’ve been working on editing throughout the last week. No, I haven’t written a single word beyond completing and editing Three. Yeah, let’s face it, I’ve been procrastinating and being right in the middle of moving apartments hasn’t really contributed to my time for writing either.
Then again I’ve been going over chapters Two through Four of my original first draft, trying to figure out what to keep and what to scrap. Honestly? Of almost 15,000 words, all I’m going to keep is one scene. Yes, there is a lot of superfluous wordy junk there and whenever I’m reading sections of the first twelve chapters, I get that eerie feeling that either I’m a damn schizophrenic or someone else must have written those chapters, because my writing has improved so much since then. And it’s not even been a year. I guess development can come in spurts 😉
So what’s the outcome of this editorial rampage? I basically decided to condense those original three chapters of flashback into one chapter. That one scene (which is a really cool one I might add) will serve as a great opener and then I’ll go from there. The basic frame of the chapter is pretty clear as is its result, but I really don’t want to get all tangled up in backstory and flashbacks, because those distract horribly from the main plot.
I suppose that’s one of the things I’ve learned about editing so far: cutting. Really. If a scene doesn’t contribute to your plot or character development, it’s gotta go. And let’s face it there’s a great number of those scenes all hidden sneaky-like in every kind of first draft just waiting for some thorough editing. I’m not saying trash it altogether, for there still might be some helpful and contributing bits in there, but you can always ‘recycle’ those scenes later or use those tidbits and drop them into the ongoing plot as casual asides.
So here I am, working on the problem flashbacks. I knew before that I’d run into problems with this section, but didn’t really know what to do with it. In the end it took me a couple of months of letting it simmer and a heightened sense of self-criticism to be able to part with most of it and figure out how to rewrite it instead.
Right now I’m rather amused by Damian’s suggestion of him knocking Ares out at a certain critical point. ‘Shut it up first and then deal with it later’ is so totally a thing Damian would do. So far he really likes the idea even though he already knows he’s never going to live that one down. I guess in the end we’ll see if the solution will be quite that drastic or not 😉