It's December. NaNoWriMo is over and all the little participles are tucked soundly in bed, while visions of split infinitives dance in their heads. Holiday silliness aside, I thought I would attempt to keep my readers abreast of the writing process of one of my works. We'll see how far this little experiment develops. My selected object of devotion this year is Book 2 of the Refugees series. For me - it's editing season - well, rewrite season. I'm sitting here staring at the 32 chapters of Book 2 (Somehow I always have 32 chapters. It's a mystery.) 110K words approximately that is getting ready to grow from bare skeleton of a story to a lush well-muscled read. Think Olympic diver kind of muscles. Every weak scene is going to be put on a rigorous regime of rewriting until every sentence can carry its own weight. No weaklings allowed to remain. Then, after the initial bulk up - it'll be time to pare things down to the distillation of the novel's soul. <insert maniacal laughter here> To be a bit less dramatic I'll take each chapter and read it. That will trigger thoughts about why I do this and serious contemplation about going back to computers. Somewhere in there I will sigh and resign myself to the next phase of birthing a novel - the first rewrite.
Where the first draft is you telling the story to yourself the first rewrite is where you start thinking about the audience. Here's where all those neat details that are still wedged in your head have to hit the page. In my case literally. I still print out my first draft. I have to hold it in my hand to be able to keep working. Not my personal preference, but a personal parameter I have discovered that I need to work within. Meh. Sitting here with chapter one in front of me I'll read it over with much muttering and the occasional wince then the process of filling it out starts. I turn the page over and with a mess of editorial marks, numbers, Russian, Italian, and Welsh, English too, notes, and three colors of pen I'll start adding on all the language that transports a shopping list of actions into the realm of literature.
Hold on - this might get a wee bit bumpy.