Thursday, May 16, 2013

Adventures in Editing - The Oh Carp Stage And The Battle Plan

*Theme music*

Welcome to Adventures in Editing!  A series of blog posts in which you will see a young writer figure out how the heck to edit a novel. Heeere's your host, Lily!

*Scattered applause*

So. This week I started editing my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel, Noxumbra. (Yes, I did change the title from Noxumbra Manor.)

Overwhelming? Oh, yes. So many levels of yes.

There is so much to fix. Plot holes, flat characters, a not-yet-built-enough world, some Insta!Luv (sorta).... lots of things that just need to be redone and reworked.

This would be the first "Oh carp what I have I done what was I thinking that first page tastes like cardboard" stage. I would be surprised if another didn't visit me half-way through.

One cannot edit, or do anything productive, during an Oh Carp stage.  So I kissed it goodbye and sent it off to torment someone else. It still sends me postcards, very depressing post cards, but I try to ignore them and give them to my sister so she can use them as litter for her ducklings.

So, after spending an afternoon or so wallowing in self-pity and general overwhelmed-ness, I decided to develop a battle plan.

Everything gets better when you have a battle plan. Time to pull the Battle Axe of Editing from the dungeon.  

I'm still working on my battle plan, but basically it looks like this:

  1.  Make sure the chapters work so I can torment work with a crit partner for NaNoCritMo.  
  2. Work on fleshing out the characters. Their backstories etc, will influence the plot.
  3. Work on the plot: 
  • Fill in the big BREAKS I left in my manuscript during NaNoWriMo when I needed to get my 2000 words in but had writers' block so I switched scenes.
  • Obliterate the Insta!Luv and develop the Nomance properly. 
  • Develop a reasonable way for the Manor to earn money.
  • Make Gwen's life harder.
  • Etc, etc, etc.   
     4. Worldbuild. A lot.

That's it so far. No doubt it will change somewhat.

I think that's all for this episode. Time to pull the Battle Axe of Editing from the dungeon.

Do you have any advice/questions/random statements about glittered armadillos? Please utilize the handy comment box below!

And a good night/morning/afternoon/whatever to you.

*Lights dim. Closing theme music* 


  1. Great plan. If one part of it doesn't work, don't fret. Do another part until the first makes sense or you know how to deal with it. It'll all get done.

  2. I have a question about glittered armadillos-- what do glittered aramdillos have to do with this post? :)Perhaps your villain will be called The Glittered Armadillo? Hear his name and tremble!

    I like the term Insta!Luv. I assume that means something like "My darling Annaline, you are my truest love as of now, though I have never had any such thought of you before!" and possibly insert a kiss.

    Hope the editing goes well!

    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. Glittered armadillos have absolutely nothing to do with this post, but they are an interesting image. And The Glittered Armadillo would make a fearsome villain indeed.

      Insta!Luv refers to a romantic relationship that develops too quickly, so yes, you're right. That's actually a term I stole from someone on the GTW Facebook group. (Really, the only reason I stay on Facebook).


    2. Kinda like The Aardvark. ;)

      Insta!Luv is something I have to avoid in Short-Circuited. I have plans for Keegan...


    3. Yes! But The Glittered Aramdillo is worse, as it would scare Seana to death ;)

      Good luck with said plans! My problem with the Insta!Luv in Noxubra was that I just kinda forgot to write in that subplot.

  3. Do you have a Kindle? I've found my kindle to be an invaluable help in my editing process. I can email the files to it, and use its notes system to mark it up. The best part is that it doesn't use up paper.

    Another thing I've done is just start over and rewrite it. This is a desperate measure that should be reserved for when you pantsed the novel, and made so many changes, it no longer makes sense - but you still love the story, so you don't want to just throw it out the window.

  4. My sister has a Kindle that I might be able to borrow. Thanks for that idea! Usually I use Microsoft Word's comment feature a lot, and it's really helpful.

    Ah. The rewrite. My NaNo '11 is going to require that. The idea wasn't awful, but it was my first nearly-novel sized story, so it didn't turn out all that well. I'll go back to it some day, as I love some of the characters and have good plans for some of the others.

    1. When you edit on the computer, your brain is in "create" mode or "there are too many words dancing across the screen" mode. Printing it out or putting on the kindle forces your brain to think of your work as a book, and you therefore catch more.

      The Ankulen received a full rewrite. The first chapter had serious issues, and by the time I had finished rewriting it, I had changed so much, I just had to keep going. I understand when it comes to your '11. My first long work has been rewritten about four times, and it's awaiting a fifth - for when I get to its place in the series, since I've stuck another book in front of it.

    2. That is a good point. I don't particularly relish the idea of printing it out, as my manuscript is about 425 pages long. I'll definitely look into the Kindle idea.

      My NaNo '11 was actually a rewrite of a 5000ish story I wrote when I was 12. Changed nearly everything. I'll probably change nearly everything again. Good luck on your rewrite when you get to it!