|Like how I jerry-rigged the mouse area because keyboard tray doesn't have a place for the mouse? Perfect for writing I'm sure...|
So I finished my first draft, yeah yeah, cool and all that jazz. As I stare at the two copies of my manuscript- one marked up by one crit partner, and the other marked up by the other crit partner, I can't help but feel a little overwhelmed. Now what?
|Colene's edits on the left, Andy's on the right (obscured by my "title page")|
Where do I begin? This is my first time editing a 94,000 word novel that I've written. I have no idea how to start. Do I go over the two copies of my novel from each crit partner and compare notes? Do I print out a completely fresh copy (oy, the paper) and do my own edits? Do I open my word documents and make edits on the computer with the bubbles and stuff, while I have the marked up manuscripts next to me? Or do I just do that when I'm ready with my crit partner's changes?
Editing can be a cruel mistress that leads you on and gives you false hope. On the one hand, you are ecstatic to have finally finished your manuscript, but on the other the actual process is agonizing. You have been through so much with your characters: laughed with them, cried with them, loved them, hated them, screamed at them and pleaded with them. You know your world inside and out, and now you have to chisel away at it, like chiseling away at your own heart. But it has to be done. You have to break that mistress down bit by bit until she's perfect and you can make her into your wife. (okay, that was a bit much on the analogy part, but seriously...I had to go there) It's a constant pull of emotions- highs and lows that bring you on this roller coaster we call Editing, only to end up right at the beginning to start a bigger and higher roller coaster we call Querying.
So here I am, ready to go uphill with this thing and I don't know where to start. How do you start your first round of edits? What do you do to help get you organized and ready to tackle that mistress and tame her? (okay, that was really bad...) I'm going to stop with the bad analogies and let you do the talking. Maybe you can come up with a couple awesomely bad analogies yourselves, and more importantly, tell me how you edit.