Good morning, afternoon, or evening, darling!
I finished the second draft of The Reset on Saturday, August 23. In case you’re interested. And, as someone once described editing, “it’s like chopping fingers off.” And then buffing and painting the nails. Some of the revisions included:
- Changing the novel from present tense to past tense.
- Fixing grammatical errors.
- Cutting scenes that didn’t move the story forward or contribute to the plot (word count went from 48,155 to 44,637).
- Adding some scenes that explained the plot more and/or moved the story forward.
For the third draft, I think I’ll focus on:
- Cutting a few unimportant characters if needed.
- Impressing Althea’s apathy upon the reader in the beginning of the story to clearly show how her character progresses throughout the novel.
- Decide upon January’s mannerisms. It doesn’t seem right that he’s a tall fellow, but still so childish. It’s endearing to me, but it doesn’t seem to fit him even though he’s arguably one of the sweetest people in the novel.
- Polishing the writing style.
- Adding a bit more foreshadow.
Hopefully I’ll still enjoy it the third time around. 😛
And, I figured, why not share some snippets? I haven’t done that in a while. I guess I feel self-conscious, like every other author. Ah, well.
“No need to spend more money on something we can do for free.”
“What? I’m not worth it?” January adopted a put out expression.
I set a kettle of water on the stove and leaned against the counter, waiting for it to boil.
“Of course you are,” I said. “You’re priceless. I can’t possibly spend enough money on you.”
“You could try,” he suggested.
“If I chose anything more than bread and cheese,” January said, “I’d have to cook. And that ain’t happening. Hope you don’t mind.”
Everyone within earshot turned to look at us.
“What’s wrong?” I asked him.
“Smoke!” he wheezed. Jan doubled over, gripping his abdomen. “It’s killing me! And you!” He pointed an accusatory finger in the smoker’s direction.
I covered my mouth to hide a smile as Jan narrowed his eyes at the man whose face had turned a deep cherry red. He dropped the cigarette butt on the ground and crushed it with his heel. January straightened and nodded once. He tugged on his coat and grabbed my arm. We hurried down the street with our ice cream and dignity.
I looked up at the young man who winked at me.
“Saving lives one hack at a time,” he said.
“How do serial killers become serial killers, do you think?” he asked, obviously forgetting that I was a serial killer. “Do they eat their Lucky Charms while reading the Paper in the morning and go, ‘oh, nothing interesting in the news today. I’ll change that?’”
“Well, I’m guessing someone forgot to put the ‘lucky’ in their ‘charms’ that morning because, if they were lucky, that’s not what would cross their mind.” I rolled my eyes.
“Oh, please,” Fëar said with a rolling of his eyes. “You think Fanon and I are just partners in a business? Nah, we’re buddies. We joke quite a bit over a round of drinks. You’re one of the best jokes we’ve heard in a while though, darling, I must say.”
I slammed my coffee mug down on the table. The black liquid splashed up and burned my skin, but the pain only registered in the back of my mind.
“You think my pain is something to laugh about over a drink?” I shouted. My chair fell backwards and crashed to the floor as I stood. “Is that all other humans are to you sick people? Jokes? Toys you can break and throw away when you get tired of them?”
Fëar frowned. “Be a bit more generous, darling,” he said. “We tape them back together a few times first.”
The elf stepped forward and jabbed a finger at me. “You were lovely, darling, until you started thinking. I would put a reality check on my daydreams if I were you.”
“I’m beginning to wonder which is more real,” I said, “my daydreams or your reality.”
“Sometimes they don’t mean to,” I cried. “But people are selfish and they’ll do what’s best for you until it’s inconvenient for them.”
I smiled a little and placed the dagger on a decorative table. “Get out of here, tramp,” I said with a grin. “I’ll see you soon. Don’t go anywhere predictable.”
He winked. “No garbage cans or park benches. Got it.”
Maeve turned to leave, but stopped. “Oh, and just so you know,” she added over her shoulder, “that little episode earlier was nothing. Fanon’s had centuries to discover new methods of manipulation. I’d just get it all over with. It’s the right thing to do.”
I closed my eyes and when I reopened them, she was gone.
The right thing.
How could she tell me that an incremental massacre was right? Would killing many for the sake of one justify the murder of so many innocents?
What’s your editing process? Any advice? Specific things to look for?
I love you and God bless, kid! 😉 You rock.
As I read my Bible last night, I stumbled upon this verse and thought this it worth sharing:
“My son, with humility have self-esteem; prize yourself as you deserve.” – Sirach 10:27