The Final Frontier
|I climbed a mountain in the Alps (via cable car, naturally)|
Whilst many writers will be focusing on NaNoWriMo next month, I will be editing and re-working my novel. Time to wipe away the dust particles and make it gleam.
The most difficult parts of editing for me (apart from trying not to avoid it) are the detachment needed and the necessity for switching off the creative head. As a teacher, I find it easy to edit and critique other people’s work but ‘red-penning’ my own writing is a totally different experience. In preparation, I have researched, sought advice from editing experts and attended an editing webinar with Anne Rainbow, whose ten point structure has provided me with a clear process to follow.
During my research I came across a surprising recommendation. Admittedly it made me cringe: eliminate metaphors and similes. Uh-oh! I love the use of these imagery enhances and I know I’ve used them in my novel. Should I take them out?
For example, in the opening chapter of my novel, a bomb has just exploded causing chaos and mayhem in a London restaurant. My journalist protagonist takes cover under a table. I write:
Her trained, hazel eyes narrowed and scoured the scene. Her reporter instincts clicked into action. From her crouching position, she saw a boy knocked over by the scurrying pack of rats clambering over each other to escape from danger. The boy cried out for his mother; she had been caught up in the horde. Evelyn watched the desperate woman as she fought against the powerful tide. She was dragged away. Helpless.
A re-write? Should I eliminate the metaphorical language used?
Taking note of the tips given by various sources, I have decided to choose random chapters for each day of November rather than start at the beginning. I like this idea as it will prevent me from becoming creatively involved in the story. And once each chapter has undergone scrutiny, then I will read it from the beginning to ensure I’m happy with the overall flow and sequencing of events.
How do you tackle your own big editing projects? Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo?