The past few weeks, I’ve really gotten back into writing. In fact, I finished my first draft of my next novel!
Finishing a first draft is its own particular high. The outline is done, the arcs have reached their destinations. Maybe some questions are left unanswered, but the characters are nowhere near to where they started. So many hours went into crafting the story that now features a “the end” on the last page.
But the work is far from done. Edits are needed. Some sections are still skeletal. There are characters that got glossed over in the pursuit of plot. And since this book is a sequel, there are points from The Patch Project that still have to be addressed.
And in my case, entire concepts have to be changed. Here’s an example: Originally, I wanted to call the people who scavenge supplies from the wasteland “finders”. Typing it into Google (to make sure I wasn’t inadvertently copying someone’s title), I discovered that the most recent articles related to “finders” are about a cult. Not really the association I wanted readers to make. So I had to go off in search of a new word, a new label that would make sense in the world of the book. Still looking for something straightforward that doesn’t sound weird.
Something that’s really helping with editing is recording myself reading each chapter aloud. The reading aloud part helps to weed out awkward phrases and catch missed words. Listening back helps track the progression of each section, and to highlight unintentional tense changes. If you haven’t tried this method, I highly recommend!
As I’ve been getting deeper into edits, I’ve also been thinking about starting a vlog to track the progress of the book and interact with readers. Any tips?