Saturday, April 14, 2012

Down-home editing challenge

As you have doubtlessly already read over at Clickthing (or is it clickthing?) and Conversations with My Id, Messrs. Clemens, Skrezyna and I have been engaging in acts of flagrant Twittery, with the added charges of Aggrivated Commiseration (after the fact) as well as Intent to Edit.

That said, our conversations — despite taking place in the absurdly arbitrary realm of 140 characters or less — turned towards a game of "you show me yours/I'll show you mine."

No, not THAT kind. This isn't Chatroulette.

Anyway, we agreed to foist upon the world the exact proportion of our own editng woes, so without further ado, behold the precise dimensions of my own personal Gehenna.

Stock tip: buy shares in red ink; there'll be a run on it this month.
That's my baby, Good Friday. All 307 pages of her single-spaced glory. I've been chipping away at her for the better part of the the year, but have finally hit my rhythm and expect to be within striking distance of a readable third(!) draft next month.

As you can see above, I actually transcibed my typewritten pages — with varying degrees of accuracy — to an electronic format, then had them bound at the 'depot. I even had Gen do a mockup cover for me.

Protip: when engaged in a mind-numbing process, take your fun where you can get it.
Ominous, ain't it?

I've already gone through the whole thing with my Lamy Safari F point and Waterman encre rouge, making corrections or — as above — rewriting entire sections on the facing page. That part was easy. Now, however, I'm stuck applying the changes one agonizing step at a time, making changes to my changes and so on. Which is to say nothing of the fact that I still face the small matter of mapping the plot to make sure that all 160,000 words hang together just so.

Looks like I found a use for that bomber jacket folio after all.
As you can see above, I've been mapping out the story by day/time/chapter, making sure that everything proceeds in a nice linear fashion, which is easy-peasy for now, since I'm dealing with a single timeline and just a couple o' perspectives. As the book hurtles towards its conclusion, however, things get...complicated.

And once that's done? Why, it's just a matter of updating the whole thing to the Cloud, that I may access my agony in any venue I should so choose. Hooray.

If anything, this process has taught me one thing: write better the first time.