Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Slogging through the editing process

First actual run of training this morning. Verdict is: I don't like running in the cold. I think it aggravates my old athletic-induced asthma.

The big news is that I'm starting to make some serious headway in editing the rider. A couple weeks back I took the weekend and read the novel from cover to cover. This more than anything else showed me how truly far I still have to go. Beyond the couple of "ADD SCENE HERE" notes there were bad jumps in logic, and wandery, unfocused passages, and just a lot more mess than I thought when I first finished the novel. All to be expected. What was the pleasant surprise was just how many problems had really clear and smart solutions that are easily rectified in the rewriting.

The issues started right away with chapter one. Mort Castle, my teacher and friend from Columbia, was always fond of the idea of starting at the start. He explained this as the writer often times needing a few pages when in first draft to just play around and really get settled in the story before the plot takes off. This was exactly what happened (though I'd sworn before that it wasn't) at the beginning of the rider, taking its gentle time introducing us to things slowly before the ball starts rolling. It was an odd sort of juxtaposition, considering how the novel from then on is one relentless barreling barrage to the ending. So I made about a three thousand word chop from the beginning of the rider, knowing that once things get rolling I could go back and touch more on what's been missing. It's been a very smart move.

Finished chapter 2 today with not much hassle and have started outlining the intricate storyline mess of chapter 3.
The actual events aren't all that confusing, as everything sort of all comes together around the rider and ends with him massacring the lot of them (pretty typical device I've noticed in this story), it's just the intercutting between story lines to make sure that the suspense builds properly.

When it comes to the rewriting process, I've found another of my skills has been sharpened to an efficient point. Procrastinating by web surfing. It's unearthed some great gems.

Like a video shot within the University of Michigan Libraries where I work:

And also this wonderful "viral marketing" website about doll warriors that just has to be seen to be believed.


That is all.