I thought I’d share some of the things I’m finding in this edit.
I can definitely tell which chapters came out of my pen wholly formed and which I struggled with. I think most writers find this; some chapters are the lynchpins that keep the wheels of my story from falling off the axle. Other chapters are less clear; perhaps they’re transitional or just utility chapters, that I’ve sketched in my mind, but don’t know the details ahead of time. And then there are the places where I assumed I’d be doing “X” in Chapter 20, but ended up doing “Y” when I got there, so now I have to go back and fix the earlier reference.
Other things I have been stumbling across:
- About halfway through, I occasionally refer to Vincent as a “Québécois.” While this is entirely accurate, it’s a new descriptive word for him, and it just went “clunk” when I read it, so out it goes.
- In one scene, my general’s gloves are on, then off, then on again, without any action from him. Oops.
- In another scene, a secondary character is standing, then rises from his seat. Aint’ continuity a beeyotch?
- I long ago stopped counting the times I changed a “he had been <verb>ing” and other, similarly weak verb constructions into stronger “he <verb>ed” forms that are more immediate and active.
- I’ve found a handful of repeated phrases, and even found two too-similar bits in action sequences. Since this book was “in progress” for so long, this isn’t surprising, but it’s just the sort of thing a full read-through turns up.
Happily, I’m also finding a lot of really good prose. There are some really good tirades, some character interactions that are simultaneously moving and funny, and some places that are just, well, perfectly tuned to the needs of the scene, chapter, book, and series. They’re the sort of places I can’t wait to hear my First Readers’ reactions to. Now I’m really motivated to get this edit done and put it in my First Readers’ hands!
Thank goodness, it’s a long weekend!