Beautiful Books #3: The Editing Process

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On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how did the book turn out? Did anything defy your expectations?

Um, 4? It’s still not complete, the writing is crap, and there are little inconsistencies scattered everywhere. BRING ON THE EDITING. The ideas are solid, though. I think. I had about 3,000 plot holes to work through along the way.

Comparative title time: what published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)

I hate comparative titles. I HATE THEM! No book should be marketed as being like another book. I feel like it’s cheating, especially if it’s coming from the author. (Sorry for the rant–I saw an author do this recently and it made my blood boil.) That said, my plot is a little hard to understand, so I always compare it to I Am Legend to help people get it:

But if I had to do a comparative title, it would be something like I Am Legend meets Never Let Me Go and James Cameron’s Avatar. With some Legend of Korra thrown in. Basically, it’s a little bit of everything I love.

Do you enjoy working with deadlines and pressure (aka NaNoWriMo)? Or do you prefer to write-as-you’re-inspired?

I can’t function without a deadline, which is part of the reason why I love NaNo. The writing is never very good, but bad writing is better than no writing.

How do you go about editing? Give us an insight into your editing process.

I…never get that far. *hangs head in shame* My current WIP, even though it’s not complete yet, is nearly there. I’ve edited Part One a little bit, which mainly consisted of printing it out and marking things in red. But I’ve never really been taught how to properly edit a novel. Any suggestions?

What aspect of your story needs the most work?

I’m terrible at description, to the point that I kind of skip over most of it.  It’s a serious problem. Why can’t the readers just see exactly what is in my head? That would be so helpful.

What aspect of your story did you love the most?

I loved learning more about Elayer, probably because it was so unexpected. It was not in my plot at all, but it just came and I spent a lot of time finding out his backstory and it was a great time. I knew he had been Center’s son, but his older brother came completely out of nowhere, but it really helped make his character dynamic. And to see how Center treated Elayer as a child really contrasts with the way the MC sees her.

And I love E’s slow realization that Arcadians are not what she once believed them to be.

Give us a brief run down on your main characters and how you think they turned out. Do you think they’ll need changes in edits?

E – my MC. I think her personality is the one I’m struggling with the most. She has a temper and one moment she’ll be brash and angry and cursing, and the next she’s timid and rule-abiding. I know there’s a balance there, but I’m not sure I’ve found it yet.
Elayer – The guy that E meets in the woods and starts traveling with. His personality has fallen a bit flat since we were first introduced to him. He’s supposed to be all condescending and intelligent, but I didn’t have a lot of time to write his dialogue exactly how he would say it, so he’ll need more work.
Ava – E’s best friend. I love her. She’s perfect.
Center – Elayer’s mother and one of the most respected members of their community. She’s kind of evil, but I’m trying not to make her seem like the villain. I’m not sure if I’ve succeeded.
Rolla – E’s leopard, who is sassy and impatient and lovable. She wasn’t in many scenes in Part Two, but I think she’s turning out fine.

minor characters I added:
Braymer – Elayer’s older brother. I love the way he turned out, but I think I’ll have to tweak it a little. He’s not in many scenes, so I need to make sure the few scenes that he is in capture his personality.
Delta, Hayti, Joplin, Levasy – a group of female warriors that E joins after the invasion. I liked their story, but it doesn’t really add to the plot, which is already gigantic, so I think it will be cut and turned into a separate short story.

What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? 
Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?

I guess it depends on how satisfied I am with it. I love the story, but it’s getting so big that I’m scared of the editing process. I’m afraid it’s going to take me years to get to where I want it. And after all that work, will people even want to read it? I’m not sure. I would love to publish it, if it turns out the way I want it to, but I’m afraid of spending all that time and effort on a story that nobody cares about.

Share a favourite snippet!

My favorite scene that I wrote this year was Braymer’s graduation. He was Center’s son and the hardest working student in his class, so everyone thought he was destined for success. For the graduation, the boys have to design their own unique rings, and present their ring to Hume, their deity. If there is a flash of light, a connection is made, and the boy becomes part of the community. If not, they are exiled.

What are your writing goals and plans for 2016?

Finishing Part Three! I am determined

currently listening to: I Hate Christmas Parties by Relient K

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