Some Notes on Editing the Second Draft

21:46 Mon 10 Dec 2007
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I finished the second draft nine days behind schedule, which in the overall scheme of things isn’t that bad a slip. It turned out to be extremely difficult to maintain a steady approach to the editing, unlike either the micronovel version or the first 35 episodes of AFBH, two projects of similar duration that I completed successfully (and on time) last year.

AFBH was a similar commitment in terms of time-per-day. What made that easier in comparison to the editing was that it was extremely predictable: doing it consisted of watching the episode, reading the appropriate section of the book, taking notes, and writing up each well-defined section.

The editing, however, varied from session to session, so that some days I had to cut heavily (at about a five-to-one ratio), other days I had to significantly fatten sections that I had merely sketched out, and sometimes I had to write entirely new material. Switching between those things was quite difficult. Most difficult of all was writing new material that I hadn’t planned out. Despite having worked on the thing for so long, significant chunks remained unplanned, and doing the task of working things into the plot while trying to stick to the daily routine was extremely tough for me.

I finally got unstuck with the remaining parts of the last two chapters when I divided them into five-hundred word chunks and came up with what each chunk should contain. That sounds obvious, but writing isn’t always like that for me, and often flows without that kind of planning. I might not need that kind of detailed plan all the time, but I apparently do need it to fall back on when struggling.

I’m not going to touch that novel for quite some time. Editing it was quite a stressful experience, and I need to let it go for a while. Going over deadline, and struggling to finish it while failing to do so, was not a pleasant experience.

I did find the daily public status reports to be a useful motivational tool. I really, really hated writing that I hadn’t made any progress, and so would often be forced by that to work on the editing, which tended to get easier once I started it. It didn’t always get easier, however, which accounts for a number of those “no progress” updates. The downside is the same as the upside—I couldn’t stand writing those posts stating that I didn’t make any progress. On the days where, for whatever reason, I knew I simply wouldn’t be able to get editing done, it was very unpleasant to put out an update.

Those updates probably shouldn’t be entire posts on the main page of my site, either. Thanks to my readers, as usual, and to everyone who gave me encouragement.

I’m extremely happy to have finished that second draft. Happy and relieved, and optimistic about future projects.

One Response to “Some Notes on Editing the Second Draft”

  1. Niall Says:


    Please to be forwarding finished result for my reading pleasure immediately. Kthxbye.


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