Because my poor first draft was full of plot holes and huge gaps in continuity, my first editing pass is really focused on two things:
- Plugging the holes - which means rewriting scenes, adding scenes and explanations (including one I've yet to add in which is pretty much the mechanical crux of my premise), and basically patching my manuscript together with spit and duct tape. I'm not too worried about it being pretty right now, just that it can hold water.
- Reshuffling - moving things around, making sure key events happen at the right time, and that the Big Exciting Things are spaced well to give the MS good pace. Remember that scene in Minority Report where the guy is working on holographic computer monitors to sort through the predictions of the 3 psychics, and he's all whizzing them around like a floating deck of cards? Yeah, that's pretty much nothing like how this part of my editing looks (except in my head).
While I'm editing, I'm also reading a book on writing craft called The Breakout Novelist. It's a great read, and very easy to get into (important for me, as I hate reading 'craft' books generally) - I'd really recommend it if you're at any other point in your process except querying. If you're querying, your MS is done and dusted, so reading this book then is probably only going to make you doubt yourself.
I think I'll probably take another week to finish this editing pass, then I'll move on to 'smooth edits'. Yes, I am aware that my editing phases sound like they are named after types of peanut butter. But more about that in the next post!
What's your editing process? Do you work in phases, like me, or have another method? Sharing is full of WIN.