I’ve started editing and it is quite the whirlwind! I am so excited to be able to read through the story. There are so many funny things that happen near the beginning that I had totally forgotten about! When I finished, I felt like the story had been so static, but going back to the beginning, the story arch is really coming through. Brie and Hart, we’ve come a long way.
I’ve realized in going back that I REALLY tell myself the story. Sometimes, I’ll just break away from the narrative to write about history, geography, exposition, oddly specific character details. And yet, I’ve always told myself and others that I avoid exposition and over-describing like the plague. While that is my mentality for the final product, I learn so much about my world and characters in these free-writing moments, which guides the exploring of the world and story and the development of characters.
Of course, I’m aiming to chop out as many of these elements as possible, storing them about in my notes binder. After all, these elements really slow down the story at the beginning, and they take away from the mystery.
Why is the Battle of Taimes Brie’s favorite story?
Is her mother dead?
Who was Hart before the story began?
Removing these explanations speeds the story up, and allows the reader to have information to gather as they read along, discovering the characters and world as they journey through the story instead of in big expositional clumps of word vomit.
I’ve also realized that my first draft is a very rough first draft. I am a pro at not finishing sentences I suddenly deem unimportant and moving, as well as including plenty of “spelling” mistakes (i.e. words that I spell wrong because I accidentally write the wrong word). My husband has been reading the novel out loud for me to give me some extra perspective – and then I can stop him and say “was that boring? should I do this instead?” – and he never fails to read it EXACTLY as I have written. It’s a lot of palm-to-face.
Another thing I’ve realized is how much my characters change…and I don’t know if I like it. I miss old, snarky Brie and goodie-two-shoes Hart. They were both so innocent, but I put them through a lot. I guess that’s why they had to grow up. But I hope to really hone in on some of these core character qualities that really make me love them and focus on maintaining those qualities throughout the story – even when things get tough.
I can’t wait to share this story with you! We get to see a COMPLETELY different side of Eviryia in a really wonderful way.