WIPmarathon Report #3

It’s the end of April already – this totally snuck up on me – which means time to report in on the WIP again except this time I’ll be reporting on edits for I HEART ROBOT since they’ve taken priority this month.

Last report wordcount: Before edits: 81, 003

Current report WC: As edits near completion: 79, 710

Editing Issues This Month:

None really. I love the editing process and couldn’t wait to dive back into this novel because it’s a story I really love told by characters I adore. I hope readers will feel the same way when this quirky robot tale eventually makes it way out into the world.

Okay one thing, not an issue per se, but something that impeded the process was great dollops of self-doubt. As I reread passages and took into consideration everything my editor had said, I sometimes felt like this story just wasn’t good enough and what was I thinking attempting to publish this story, but my agent and publisher believed in my story and believed in me. So I shook off the self-deprecation and got stuck into edits: cutting, adding and generally making the manuscript that much better. This is why I love edits, the ability to start with dirt and end up with a pearl.

Four things I learned this month in editing:

1. My drafts are usually one of two things: overly verbose or lacking description. This one was overly verbose and my characters frequently strayed into waffle-mode. Brevity was the word of the month with this ms.

2. Sometimes cutting a scene – even one I loved – was the best thing for the story. This whole ‘kill your darlings’ thing really resonated with me this month and started getting easier after a while.

3. I’m a perfectionist and this is not a bad thing. So that 200 word paragraph took me close to half an hour to edit and get just right – so what? Now it’s as close to perfect as I can make it and that’s what each and every sentence needs to be.

4. Not a new discovery, but getting back edits this month reaffirmed my love for the whole revise-rewrite-edit process. I love how it’s through edits that I can really make my characters shine while shoring up plot and prose. It’s only during edits that I really get that strong sense of story identity from the ms.

What distracted me this month while writing:

Trying to revise the draft of book 2 (due to my publisher May 1st as well!) in this potential trilogy while jotting down ideas for book 3. I really really want to write book 3!

I also suffered an assault from Shiny New Ideas for a completely different story about magic and dreams and stormy seas. That’ll have to wait though.

Goal for next month: Finish outlining (yes, I actually have an outline this time) book 3. Start writing book 3 and hopefully make it to the 10k mark.

Last 200 words: Here’s a non-spoilery excerpt from the last chapter I edited in I HEART ROBOT. This is from Quinn the android’s POV:

“They should have tombstones.” Kit leans against a crumbling chunk of rock, the name chiseled into the stone eroded beyond legibility.

“We could write in the mud. Like an epitaph.”

“Won’t last long.” Kit blinks drizzle from his lashes.

“Doesn’t matter.”

“What should it say?”

I drag a finger through the mud, scrawling Sal’s words in the earth.

“We are more than just electronics,” Kit reads over my shoulder.

“Sal said that once.”

Kit kneels beside me and scribbles ‘We are more than just metal’ across the mass grave.

Below that I add, ‘We are more than the sum of our parts.’

“And don’t ever forget it.” Kit tousles my hair.

Soaked to the core, we stand shoulder to shoulder in reverent silence, heads bowed in the rain as the sun rises over Baldur. The sun rises in C-sharp minor. 

And that’s it for the month of April. How did you do?

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