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Adventures in Editing: Update 6

My weekly, Friday update....

Here we go! Time for me to check in and see how my progress is going with editing my WIP. Here's where I'm at:

  1. Goal: Finish Editing Act 1

    1. Result: I don't know if I believe it myself, but I think I actually managed to do this. Eek! I was super lagging all week on this, but then I'd remembered that I would need to report out my progress on Friday. That would give me a little kick in the butt that would help me get going. Anyways, I think I managed to go through all of Act 1 and develop it into a cohesive unit. I have no doubt that when I go back and do my second read-through, I'm going to have to make more changes, but I think the "BIG STUFF" is in place and good to go.

    2. Now, I ended up not going with the additional scene (i.e. "The Gala"). During the rewrite, I determined that this scene wouldn't really do anything to push the story forward, and was more just something I felt like writing. We'll see if I feel differently after my second read-through, but for now, I think this scene would just be fluff.

  2. Bonus Goal: Up the Conflict in an Additional Scene

    1. Result: My goal was to get Act 1 done and potentially add "The Gala" scene. When I decided to steer away from the additional scene, that gave me time to review a different scene in Act 2. This scene needed more "tension" added to it to make sure the next sequence of events make sense. During the initial cold read, the scene was too soft, making the character's reaction a little confusing (and frankly, made her way too dramatic). So, I was able to rachet up the tension a bit by adding a little more dialogue and changing some of the original dialogue around to make her reaction more appropriate in the scene that follows.

All-in-all, not a bad week for editing. I'm still a little disappointed in my energy levels towards editing. There are definitely days were I'm in love with the re-writing process and days were I just can't stand it.

With that said, I have found it incredibly useful to do these Friday Updates. It has really helped motivate me when I'm not in the mood to work on editing, AND it helps me stay organized. Taking the time to figure out what my goal is for each week, reporting out on my progress, and taking a moment to assess why I did or did not meet my goal has been great for keeping me accountable.

So, with that said, let's look at my goal for this week....

The Plan: I've got a few things I want to tackle this week. Much of the heavy lifting is done, but there are still some individual scenes that need boosting up:

- Clean Up the Inciting Incident: In the current draft, Mara (our protagonist) is in decisive and the Act 2 kind of just happens to her. I want to clean up the inciting incident and make our hero that action by making a choice (even if it's the only choice she really has to make). It makes her an active participant in her life, and that's what I want for her.

- Clarify Plot Goals & Rewriting as Needed: This is one of the last, big pieces I have to tackle. Our final scene ends in a hospital, with a lot of lose ends coming together. This is Book 1 in a trilogy, so this presents a few obstacles for me to work through. My goal is to have the book feel complete at the end while still leaving several matters to be addressed. (That's Book 2's problem....).

As it stands, it's probably "ok," but I know I'm not satisfied, and I don't think readers will be happy with it either. So, I'm at a loss. I want to spend some time brainstorming a cleaner, more satisfying end to Book 1 that leaves plenty of mystery and creates a desire to know what happens next. I think part of my problem is the "overarching plot goal" for this book isn't clear enough, so getting that feeling of "completion" at the end of the book isn't happening. As such, I think my goal for this week is going to be for me to get really clear on what that overarching plot goal is, and then brainstorm how to create that on the page.

That's it. Let's see if I can get it done. Have an amazing weekend, Happy Memorial Day, and keep turning the page!

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