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Decent Editing, Not-So-Decent Editing, Harsh Editing, Dealing With Loads & Loads Of Characters

12 May

After a decent editing day yesterday, today things are going slowly. Sorry, I meant to say slooooooowly. Around a hundred pages to go, why do I write such long books? The only good thing is that this is the very definitely final editing pass, fixes have been trivial and I’ve only caught two actual errors in three hundred-odd pages, and those minor. I’ve deleted quite a lot, too, more than usual, but that’s because I wrote this ages ago (more than a year is ‘ages’) when I wasn’t as good a writer. That’s my advice for the day, don’t sit on manuscripts, just get them edited and proofed and then publish them and then forget them and move onto the next thing, otherwise you get into this situation where you have a book that’s not BAD but which you feel doesn’t quite measure up to your other recent releases. Which causes feelings of unresolved inner conflict.

In positive news, sales are creeping along–sorry, did it again, creeeeeping along, I’m just barely managing to stay in the ‘sale-a-day’ club. May 12th and I have twelve sales for the month. Also, apparently it’s Zombie Awareness Month, so I might do an Imogen Shroud giveaway to celebrate that.

Here’s a teeny little thing that I’ve found helpful recently. While outlining Against Darker Days I found that I had a lot of characters to deal with at once, often in groups, and I needed to clearly define who they were–remind myself of their key traits so readers (and myself) wouldn’t get them mixed up or anything. So, what I did, aside from my usual “What does X think of Y?” thing, is list all the characters in each group and put three clear and obvious traits unique to that character within the group. So, for example:

Sophia: Bossy, Clever, Superior. Optimist.

Sorrow: Introverted, Sarcastic, Sharp. Pessimist.

Lina: Simple, Strong, Unconfident. Realist.

In a trio of characters, I think it’s usually a good idea to have an optimist, a pessimist and a realist–not always, but it makes for a good, clear dynamic and keeps things interesting.

Have I shared this? Even if I have, it’s worth sharing again:

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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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