The Great EDIT of 2014!
Yesterday I printed off all 169 pages of my manuscript (sorry trees but it was double sided), I bought myself a coffee…and I locked myself in a silent study cubical for the best part of two hours and got down to editing. I was fortunate enough to speak to a literary agent over the weekend who, after reading a sample of my MS and the synopsis, which apparently wasn’t completely dire anymore (woohoo!) requested I send the rest in.
I know I know I’m breaking the golden rule and this MS should be on its way already! But she was also kind enough to offer a few small pointers; which I am implementing like crazy. They included the comment: your dialogue is brilliant; really believable – should there be more of it? This is a comment I’ve heard before, and I remain confident that the only reason my dialogue is believable is because I detest writing it and so I write as little as possible –giving my characters believability as they don’t say everything that they’re thinking…
So – two hours locked in a room with no distractions, especially as my phone had died…
I feel really good about the work I put in and the changes I made. I’m being a bit ruthless and putting my toolbox of new (improved) tricks into play. What is driving every scene or chapter? Does the difficulty of my protagonist reaching her goal for each scene and the overall novel, increase in every scene? What sentences aren’t working, what chapters can I completely cut? I’m 6 chapters in out of 42 and I’ve cut about 4000 words. This is quite worrying as I would like to add more words, instead of taking them away.
But it seems to be working. I’ve set myself a deadline to get all the work done andsent to the agent by the end of next week. Despite having two very busy weeks! For the first time since setting the deadline; I can imagine reaching my goal. It all seems achievable and the manuscript is going to be so much stronger for it. I feel so motivated. I can’t wait to get back into that head space tonight and continue being ruthless and improve my work.
No distractions + Quiet room + Phoned turned off + Motivation + Achievable Goal = good work, excitement and improved motivation to continue.
It also gets rid of that nagging guilt you feel when you havn’t gone back to that words for a few days.