Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Edit 1: Plot and Story Structure

Well, since I just did a post about my 10 round editing system and I'm now implementing said system on my manuscript, I figure I might as well blog about it as I go. If I do one edit a week, my manuscript might be well edited by spring. And when it comes to the smaller edits, I can probably do multiple in a week. So let's get this MS into shape!

Today's edit focuses on Plot and Story Structure. As mentioned in my previous post, this is the most involved edit of the story. It involves adding scenes, deleting scenes, switching scenes around, and even restructuring the entire plot. How well the plot is thought out to begin with determines the difficulty of this edit.

In my case, this edit isn't as difficult as it could be, mostly because I'm a die hard outliner. I outline before I ever start writing and usually my plots stay about the same. I don't start writing unless the plot seems feasible and is well paced in my head. So I usually don't have to restructure a lot of the meat of the story.

With the exception of openings.

Oh openings. You devils you. I cannot for the life of me write you well the first time. There is nothing more difficult to me than writing an opening that is well paced and gives just enough information to hook in a reader. The only time that I have written an opening that I have liked from first draft to last is in HOUR OF MISCHIEF. I guess its no wonder that's the book that got me my agent.

I'd been hoping for the same magic with the sequel, but nope! It looks like I'm going to be doing a lot of fixing and restructuring on the first fifty pages. I guess I should be used to it by now.

Me guzzling water and pretending its alcohol. Cause I can't drink...yet
This edit will also involve me adding scenes because at only 58,000 words, the book is shorter than I want it to be. Adding is almost as difficult as cutting sometimes, so I'll be combing through and seeing where I can add scenes and character developing moments. Though I'll focus on the latter more in my character developing edit.

So what about all of you? Which parts of your manuscripts always need the most reworking when you edit? Anyone else hate openings like I do? Let me know in the comments and happy editing!

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