Welcome to my series, The Editing Diaries!
In a nutshell, I’m editing my story LASER and bringing you guys along for the ride. I want you to see how my process for editing novels works (and maybe I’ll figure out my process with you). So, buckle your seatbelts, we’re going on a trip!
Editing is going beautifully.
You would be surprised how very calm and not stressed I am about editing. (Okay, I’m a little stressed, but that pales in comparison to how panicked I was last month.)
Once I got past the big problems, everything else seems like little wrinkles. I just needed to take an iron to them. Or find the tesseract in all this.
If you understand that reference, lashings of cookies for you. And I’m just going to tell the rest of you right now, that is not an Avengers reference.
Traveling through time and space would be an interesting edition of The Editing Diaries. (And now I’m just nostalgic and want to reread all my childhood favorites.)
Though, honestly, isn’t that what editing is? “Traveling” through time and space to fix events for the good of everyone? You’re welcome, Whovians.
Anyway. Tangent over.
I’m kind of still doing what I’ve been doing, with taking the chapters in order. But I’m at the point where listing what is wrong with each chapter is not as helpful because I have to rewrite part or all of the chapter. And I am going to have to rewrite a good bit of the climax, which is coming fast.
So, what specifics happened this week? (I’m glad you asked.)
Pacing a romance.
Quite frankly, it’s driving me a bit batty.
Stuff was going beautifully. I’ve been trying to write up this post since Thursday. And I’ve been worrying over that romance plotline since… well, the whole time since two of my alphas and I agreed that it happened too fast. And then I was hit with exactly WHY the romance went too fast.
The couple in question went from one just about hating the other to having a crush *snaps fingers* that fast. They’d been friends for… almost 700 words. Which could work except that very little time passed during these 700 words. Like… 10 minutes. Maybe.
That’s a little fast. For really anyone. It is not wise to suddenly decide that you love a guy when you’ve only been friends for ten minutes (or a short amount of time in general).
Do I believe in love at first sight? Yes (sort of). But this isn’t first sight! And I also believe that you should still get to know the other person before you jump into a relationship!
So how do we fix this?
At this point…
I have three options, I think.
1. Leave it and write the rest of the book so beautifully that no one cares that they went from barely friends to love in ten minutes.
I would have to get absolutely everything else perfect and even then someone somewhere would notice.
2. Write out the romance have the couple form a friendship, instead.
This is an option I kind of like but it also makes me sad.
I worked hard on it, pouring my own feelings into Isabella. Except for the fact that it went too fast in the aforementioned ten minutes, I pulled it off pretty well.
And the romance scenes are some of my favorites…
YES I KNOW YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO KILL DARLINGS WHEN YOU EDIT.
But you are still supposed to tell the story you want to tell. And half this story is the romance. The romance is half the appeal of this story to me.
Maybe I’m getting into the rant stage here, but let me tell you how I got the idea for this story.
Sometime between summer 2013 and last May, I was editing The Curse Fulfilled. In a nutshell, this was a story about a boy who was cursed to turn into a dragon every night and he goes on a quest with his cousin and best friend to break the curse. Being a Middle-Grade story, the parents were all conveniently absent. And then I wondered where one of the character’s dad was.
Enter the founding of the company of LASER. (Not called LASER, then. Lily J. and I spent at least an hour one night last summer figuring out what it should be called and what the acronym stood for.) I imagined an entire cooperation centered around protecting humans from mythical creatures. And I imagined a story series of a kid working for this company. Starring the aforementioned character-father as a teen.
As I edited TCF, I discovered that I really do not care for writing male POV. I’d only been doing it accidentally incorrectly for… 8+ years. So, my MC for LASER would have to be female.
I chose Isabella. Twin sister to the male POV I no longer wished to write and eventual mother to the MC of TCF.
The plot was not werewolves at first. I’m a pantser– I make this up as I go.
The plot (which I originally meant to be a subplot) was Isabella meeting and falling in love with the guy she eventually marries. This was the plot I started with. I knew there would be magic and fantasy and all that, but the romance started the story.
So, getting rid of the romance plotline entirely is not really a good option.
3. Find places where I can make the couple develop a friendship and bond, as well as delay the romance-y stuff from Isabella for a little bit.
This idea would probably be best. Give them a few common interests, put them through something traumatic (more than once if possible), maybe ease up on Isabella’s extreme dislike of this guy. Give her a reason to like him, something she can relate to.
That is why this worked:
And had Hans not been evil, they still could’ve gotten married (assuming Kristoff wasn’t in the picture). At the very least, they could’ve been friends.
We don’t like being alone. We don’t like being the only person who has read XYZ and loved it. Commonalities strengthen bonds between people.
I think I’m going to go with Option 3. Worse case scenario, I try it, it doesn’t work, and I’m back to where I started, right? (I know that that scenario is actually very discouraging, but I’m trying to stay positive. I don’t need to freak out.)
If I do it right, though…
So how is your writing/editing going? Doing anything fun for Memorial Day? What are your thoughts about characters falling in love quickly? What are your thoughts about characters becoming friends? Tell me!