Monday, November 22, 2010

Editing: Beginnings and Endings

Due to a killer cold last week, I was too loopy to get any good editing done. I've been hoping to have draft two done by Christmas, so I'm going to have to work a little harder now to make that happen. Still doable I think.

Right now I'm struggling through the two hardest parts of the book: the beginning and the end. Anything can happen in the middle of a book. That's where all the freedom lies. But the first and last chapters don't have that flexibility. The first chapter has to introduce characters and setting and enough back story to ground the reader (but not too much!), and above all it has to kick start the plot in an exciting enough way to make sure the reader won't put the book down. The ending has to tie up all the characters and plot points and come to a satisfying conclusion.

At the moment I have the second half of chapter one, but no first half. This morning I had two endings, neither of them quite right.

The rest of the draft is in relatively good shape. There are a few overall sorts of edits I need to take care of: once through to address a broad critique from ArmadilloCon, and once through to cut out as many unnecessary words as possible.

But today I wanted to focus on that pesky ending. It was time to write ending number three, and I was really hoping that the third time would be the charm.

I think it was. I spent all afternoon wrestling with it, but I think I've gotten the ending I want. At least for this draft!

Not bad for a Monday.

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