So I have yet to do a proper update on my novel progress. All I’ve given is little pieces here and there, insight into my editing methods, and a few lines during #1linewed. Finally, it is time for a proper progress update. Woo hoo!
Currently, I have been going back and forth between two projects. The first that I am working on writing is called Wolf Havoc, though the title is subject to change. The second, which I’ve been editing on and off since December, has no title yet. For simplification purposes, I will give it the temporary title of Masked. Simple enough, right?
This update will cover what I’ve been doing on Masked and will also give you a little more of an idea of what it’s about. I expect I’ll be editing it and its sequel until at least April. At that time, I may call for beta readers. Let’s hope I can get it all together by then.
About the Novel
Masked is all about disguises and deception, so it’s a little difficult to talk about without giving too much away. The bulk of the novel takes place at a castle where tournaments, festivals, and fancy balls are the norm. The main character is a female servant who gets swept up into games of court intrigue and danger.
1. The First Stages of the Edit (Preparing for the Edit)
Several weeks ago, I made a couple of blog posts outlining the beginning of my editing process (here and here). While most of that information is still very useful, my method has changed a bit. Instead of making a plotline, I now make PowerPoints outlining the order of events. I still have my to-do list that I’ve made, and I’ve applied all of the changes on it. However, I do keep adding to that list, so there is still much to do.
2. Second Stages of the Edit (Adding, Rewriting, and Deleting Scenes)
In my second stage, which I began maybe a month ago, I used my PowerPoint outline to reorder some of my scenes, and I brainstormed for new scenes. I would especially like to thank Sarina for helping me with some brainstorming! I have rewritten and written all the new scenes I came up with during this stage, though that doesn’t mean I’m done adding and rewriting scenes.
3. Third Stage of the Edit (The Read Through)
Last week, I did the read through, which is exactly what it sounds like. I read through my entire book, making only notes when I saw something major that needed to be changed. My goal of this read through was to get a feel for the pace of the story, make sure the scenes were in the right order, and see what parts stood out as problem areas.
4. Fourth Stage of the Edit (Dealing with the Big Problems/Fixing Pacing)
This is the stage I am currently on. So far I’ve added two new scenes, rewritten the entire ending, and noticed a glaring pacing problem. My scene breaks are way too abrupt. Sometimes it works, but doing an abrupt cut every time is very jarring. I also have too many abrupt time skips. So my next plan of action will be to smooth these areas. Whether that means starting the scene at a different point or adding in more summarizing paragraphs between time skips, that’s what I’ll be working on this week.
The fifth stage will be the line edit, which I’ve started on for the first five chapters since I believe they are in good shape. I always wait a while on the line edit so that I’m not deleting a bunch of stuff I’ve spent time line editing. So far I’ve been using the method suggested by KJ Chapman and Sarina which is to color code your document. I’ve been doing this to sort out lines I like, lines I’m not sure about, lines I hate, and areas where I think I might change what’s there entirely.
What do you think of my process? Anything to suggest? Want to share your experiences? Please comment below.