After 6 months of steady writing and editing, I finished. I wrote the original draft, then edited the entire thing again. That was the original plan, and I did it. It’s time to commit to paper.
Large principle of editing: Move from big concerns to small ones, and from the author to a growing group of readers. So, I do all the first edits. I’m reading for plot elements and right people doing and saying right things, ish. I can leave a few details to be sorted out later. Then, it’s a move to some of the larger sentence-to-sentence issues, which can be done on screen, at first.
The print out is an important part of the edit. Paper somehow allows me to pay attention to fine detail. According to some research, smaller marks in the text, like punctuation and that sort of thing, are difficult to read on screen. Paper’s critical. By the time I’m done, I’ll have gone through it four times.
Of course, I still have to be open to change the story. Once I’ve done this process, I need to involve others who will then proceed to tell me where I’ve made impossible leaps, and left gigantic gaps. In other words, when I involve others the whole process goes back to plot issues again, as it must, and the edit begins again.
It’s critical process, and one that takes a decent story idea and pounds it into the best shape possible. So I’m in the early stages of a potentially long process. But the story did make it to paper.