Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dungeon Editing Update

Withdrawing her hand from the engraved door, the princess glanced around her. This had been her life. She rarely left these two floors – what need had there been? – and even in her usual haunts she did not open all the doors. She passed doors every day that were known to be merely the shortcuts for servants or unused rooms. The nagging thought that a dungeon could have existed in her own castle without her knowledge emerged again. She felt like she knew her castle, but did she? ~Dungeon
      Editing novels is new to me -- especially editing my own. It is not an easy process. In emailing a friend the other day, I described my allegorical baby encased in concrete while I stood over it with an axe. Somehow, I have to chip the concrete away -- my baby cannot live like he is. And yet I hesitate for fear that I will hurt him,. I can hardly tell which is concrete and which is baby. What if I whack away the wrong piece? This is what editing feels like to me.
      The fact remains that my novel must be edited. It cannot go to the publishers in its current state. I HAVE to start somewhere.
     I read through it a couple times, making tiny changes -- a word here, a spelling there.  The editing process wasn't going anywhere fast, and I was afraid that if I didn't do something it wouldn't go anywhere at all.
     So I changed tactics.  I locked away my original draft and forbade myself to look at it.  Then I opened a new Word document and started over.  If someone out there is an expert editor and knows that this is not the way to do things, please send me a comment with a better idea.  Until then, I proceed as described.  It is my hope that all of the things I subconsciously wanted to change will come out in the new version, and I will be able to implement those changes without losing my flow.  It is also my hope that, when the second draft is done, I can melt it together with the first, using the best pieces from each.  We shall see if it works...


  1. Esther, (for I suddenly realized that that is your name, and not just 'Bound and Freed' ;), I sure can sympathize with your feelings of working on edits for your novel, Dungeon... one has such a fear of chopping the life out of the child of one's work. It is scary! I had this experience when I sent in a short-story to a competition for publication, and while I did not re-write it, I had to re-write major bits of it, and sometimes, it just felt easier to put it aside and restart. Definitely a good thing, I think -- I know a friend who is doing the same thing, writing a second draft with her novel, so I think you're doing great.

    All the best with your editing!
    Joy :)