Last week I heard back from my lovely editor re. the first draft of book two. It’s a follow-up to The Language of Spells and I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to match the tone or ‘voice’ of the first book, or that my editor wouldn’t like the central idea or something equally fundamental.
However, all is well. She likes it! Plus, I have a list of excellent editorial comments and suggestions to help me with draft two. Yay!
I decided I ought to take my own advice, so last week I started stage two of the editing process. (Head here to read my piece on it for Novelicious).
This stage involves looking at the big picture and thinking about the major structural, character and story changes.
I printed out the manuscript and armed myself with post-it notes and coloured pens (stationery!) and the obligatory cup of tea. I read through the book and summarised each scene using colour-coded sticky notes for each POV character.
It’s a technique I’ve used before and, my goodness, it’s effective. You can see at a glance whether you’ve got a serious imbalance with your POVs (um, yes) and, with a quick read of your scene summaries, you get a sense of the overall structure and story line. For an outline-free ‘pantser’ like me, it’s essential, and enables me to see plot holes and inaccuracies with painful clarity.
So. Now that I’ve identified the problems, I just have to fix them. Easy. (Yes, that is the sound of nervous laughter you can hear…)