Editing Week Two

So this week I managed to finish my last essay for school and on top of that, I managed to edit three chapters of Moonshadow’s Guardian-though it seems most of the editing in recent chapters has actually been writing new scenes. I’m pretty pleased with my progress as I’m currently sitting at 51 pages of the new draft and 17, 000 or so words. I’m confident that I can have this draft finished in another three or four weeks.

The only frustrating thing about it is that I know I’m going to have to spend a lot of time editing all the new scenes that I’m writing. They’re well written, but there are always ways to make the work better, and stuff that’s already been looked over and edited once will read better than stuff that hasn’t.

Today I had to do some research on swamps in order to properly write one of my scenes. I discovered that although I have an idea what a swamp looks like, I didn’t really know anything else about them. So I took an hour out of my day and looked through various websites about various swamps. I ended up deciding on something close to the ecosystem of Florida Swamps. I haven’t used a lot of what I learned yet, but it did help a little with the scene I was working on and it will probably help more with the upcoming swamp scenes.

One interesting thing I learned today is that there’s a swamp creature called a Coypu or Nutria and that it’s a little rodent type deal. I’m not spending a lot of time in the swamp, but I’ll probably spend more time there in the next book, so this information will definitely come in useful.

It’s important that you take the time to research things you need to know-to learn about animals you’re not very familiar with, ecosystems, philosophies, ideas. Things you want to include in your book but that you don’t know much about. This is particularly true if you’re trying to mimic a culture or time period other than your own-never assume that you know enough. Always keep studying the world around you the same way you keep studying your craft.

Next week I plan to continue editing my book and to start a new short story. It’ll probably be a lot easier to hit my writing goals now that it’s summer; last summer and the summer before that I partied too much and didn’t write enough, but this summer I’m going to work my behind off-after all, I’m almost 18, a proper adult, and I need to act like it and take my dreams seriously.

How is your editing going? Have you stopped at any point to do research or background work?


About Dianna Gunn

I am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.

Posted on June 24, 2011, in Editing, Workshops, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Greetings:

    Congratulations on doing your last essay! That’s a huge milesone … well done!

    Q: How is your editing going?
    I have gone through the play once. It needs another comb through and that should happen this weekend. I must confess this week I have been preoccupied with a novel that I didn’t expect to like but am. (To Say Nothing of the Dog – sci/fi).

    Overall, I’m pleased with what changes I’ve made but I need a couple more tweaks. Oddly … I need a posh English word (ie Great Britain) for “duds” (ie clothes). I have a poshie talking about her father’s duds … it sounds AWEFUL!

    In the second read-through, I plan to take your advice and read it out loud. It will take a bit of getting over but no one but the cat will actually hear me.

    Q: Have you stopped at any point to do research or background work?

    I am *notorious* for this … I cannot make up some things. If it’s real, I need to be accurate. Nano kills me in this regard and I often use the lead up time to research this or that. Also – if I have an experience of note, I sometimes use that for the novel … for Nano reasons, I have a detailed sketch of knee anatomy on my whiteboard (that I keep at my computer). Also – I use google frequently to check those niggling little facts … like does it ever snow in Spain?

    Been thinking about putting up another character sketch on my site but time is a constraint. Will notify at earliest (like you are holding your breath! lol)

    Hope all is well and good luck with your sub earlier this week!


  2. RP,

    Congratz on your editing progress. Novels can be highly distracting-both ones you’re reading and ones you’re writing-and that’s fine as long as you still eventually get the work done.

    I’m really bad at making up names for characters and creatures, so I like to use real/mythological animals and names. I spend quite a bit of time doing research in those areas.

    I’ve lost my binder for Moonshadow’s Guardian though with all my notes and I’m not pleased… hopefully I’ll find it soon.

    Also, don’t mind me, I have to boast: I GOT A NEW LAPTOP TODAY.

    Thanks for reading,

  3. Hi Dianna, so great to see you going strong! I admire your passion. I took a break to have a baby thinking I could get some work done on my novel too, but not one word yet Im afraid!

    • Hi Kleo! It’s so nice to see you around, congratulations on the baby. They can be awfully distracting though.

      You don’t have to write your book in a hurry, but I really hope you finish it someday as I’d love to read it.

      Thanks for stopping by,

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