On Monday I started editing Rise of the Sparrows. It went something like this:

editing Day1

LET’S DO THIS!!! -> cut everything! (the entire first chapter is gone) -> hmmm, maybe something is salvageable? ->screw it, rewrite everything -> oh God, why 😦

When I was done with it the first page looked something like this:

editing Day3

Oddly enough, I’m not that sad about cutting the lot. I thought it’d be difficult to cut whole chapters but I’m actually looking forward to rewriting it. It was bad and it should feel bad.

Since I started Rise of the Sparrows a couple of years ago the writing was pretty different in the beginning compared to the final few chapters. There’s a lot more cutting going on after the first chapter (and the entire prologue) but the difference in quality when you go from ‘chapters from a few years ago’ to ‘chapters from May this year’ is huge. It still needs work, but it’s nowhere near as awful as the example above! So there’s hope, right? I even came across a (relatively small) section which gave me goosebumps! GOOSEBUMPS! That’s got to be a good sign, right? Right??

I’m also surprised that I’m not cutting as many adverbs or verys as I had expected. I was prepared to cut an adverb and a very in every other sentence, but I’m not coming across that many. The ones I do cut are pretty painful, though. (ex: ‘Quickly, she rushed across the square’ – as opposed to what, exactly? Rushing slowly? Eugh.)

Early on in the week some difficult questions popped up. Is it too late to change my main character’s name? Is it a problem that her ‘sidekick’s’ name is made up, and thereforeΒ has no meaning? Why does my highlighter sparkle?

editing Day4
This is what happens when you draw over a unicorn, children!

I’m not that bothered about Cephy’s name being made up, but Rachael means innocent lamb. Innocent. Lamb. It doesn’t suit her personality, therefore it bugs me. I talked to a friend about it earlier this week and she pointed out that maybe it does fit, since Rachael herself doesn’t really fit into Blackrock. Her name fits her as well as she fits into her home town, and indeed the entire continent. So, her name fits because it doesn’t fit! (did that make sense?) I was looking for names meaning Survivor or Fighter, but that’s surprisingly difficult. In the end, the only names I found (which I also like) are Evin (young fighter), Elda (battle) and Isana (strong willed). Evin is kinda growing on me but I’ve gotten so used to calling her Rachael that it feels wrong to change it. I’d really appreciate your input on this one πŸ™‚

editing Day2
Yes, that’s part of the draft she’s sitting on. I’d like to pretend that she’s trying to protect it, but I think we all know that my cat is being a cat here and tries to be as inconsiderate as possible.

So this is how my first week of editing has gone. I’ll fit a little more today before I go to work, and I’d like to have the first set of changes applied by the end of January.

I’m currently aiming for May 2016, but we’ll see πŸ˜‰ If you’re interested in being a beta reader, watch out for a post around March! (I hope – it’s hard to estimate since I’ve never done this before)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got more editing to do!

Have a good weekend,