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Changing Tactics

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My second draft has been painful. Each night I’d open up my Scrivener document, take a look at what changes I needed to make, begin to feel overwhelmed, and then shut everything down. So far the process has been rather debilitating and demoralizing.

I’m currently working through what I’m calling a “Logic Edit.” And it’s just like it sounds, clearing up the logic so that the book makes coherent sense. For instance, I may have realized later in the book that I needed something to happen earlier. So I’d make a note of it and write the rest of the book as if it did happen. Now is the point of making sure those things did happen.

Part of this edit was making a second outline. In this outline I bold all the parts that are new additions or fixes. This helps me see all the changes quickly and pick them out as needed. As I complete them, I highlight them and move on. This method has worked great on the smaller bits. But when it has come to changing larger sections, or removing entire chapters, I feel like an obelisk is about to fall on me.

I’ve been stymied for about two or three weeks because of it.

Yesterday, I realized I needed to change my tactic. What I was doing wasn’t working. I was churning my wheels in wet cement that was quickly drying. So what could I do to fix it? Identify my current strategy then devise a new one obviously.

Current Strategy: Skip around the book all willy-nilly and fix the changes I have marked.

Problem: Foreseeing how its affecting later sections. Which is what became so debilitating. I couldn’t foresee how it’d affect everything. Especially when we’re talking about removing entire chapters. That means the rest of the book needs any mention of those moments removed. And how could I possibly remember every one of those?

New Strategy: Start at the beginning and read it straight through and edit it straight through. Stop jumping around and take it one chapter at a time. As They say, how do you eat a whale? One bite a time.

I think this will give me a bigger bang for my buck as well. It will give me a chance to tighten up other portions as I see them and bring up the entire project as a whole. Last night I slinked through chapter one without feeling any sense of dread. I was finally working on the book again and it felt good. I believe a second benefit will be that I’ll get back into the groove of the story before hitting the major changes that happen later. And once I’m in the groove, these changes will be much easier to do.

Now, all I have to do is get this done by the end of April. I will be missing by projected date of having it finished by Q1 for my beta readers (sorry William). But only by a month. So that’s something. Wish me luck!

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2 Comments

  1. If you’re concerned about continuity, add me to your beta list. I’ve got a reputation among some people I collaborated with on a jokey online TV series as a continuity fiend.

    • You’re definitely on my list for the second round of readers. But the first group are specifically people that have not read it. That way I can get a very fresh set of eyes on it.

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