The Editing Diaries–Let’s Not Talk About Anything Else But Love

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.

Just saw this episode, Doctor Who The Library. Spoilers.

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.

tinkerbell angry - Google-søgning

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).

You can't marry a man you just met. - Frozen

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…

.
This option seems promising.

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.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, published on this day in 1813, is one of the most quotable novels in the English language, full of unforgettably witty repartee that signals attraction, revulsion...
Scandalous, isn’t it?

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.

“Don't Conceal , Feel , Let them Know ”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.

10 things ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer' taught me about life, ranked
And awesome kick-butt heroine.

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:

frozen we finish each other's sandwiches - Google Search
A terrible example, but that’s why Anna thought getting married to him was a good idea. They had a lot in common.

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!

Mary and Lizzie, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries [gif] (Briana Cuoco and Ashley Clements)
Overwhelming desire to rewatch LBD, now. DFTBA!

 

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18 thoughts on “The Editing Diaries–Let’s Not Talk About Anything Else But Love

  1. So glad to here editing is going well! Option three does sound like the best, indeed. And, even if it doesn’t work, you won’t be back where you started, as you will have learned a great deal over time.

    • Thanks.
      Good news is that I am very in love with this story.
      But the other part of this is that if I had noticed it sooner, I wouldn’t already have figured out Nick’s character problems. Without his character flaws, I would’ve just been writing more scenes where he was too sweet and boring. So… I don’t think it would’ve been a good thing for me to have figured out sooner. (But thank you for the thought. 🙂 )

  2. Oooh, now that’s fun. Ships. Oh gosh.

    I get the feeling this is a non-option option, but I’m going to suggest it anyway, just because what you were saying reminded me of one of my own ships. So what if they didn’t hate each other, or at least not as strongly? Or maybe underneath the “hate” there was something else? I don’t know much about your story, obviously, so dismiss this if it doesn’t apply, that’s just what popped into my head. I have a ship that… well, he thinks she hates him, and so he acts kind of carelessly, with kind of the thought of “she already hates me, so how can I make it any worse?” even though he doesn’t want her to hate him. Meanwhile, she wants to hate him, because he talks carelessly, and he’s a little bit of a coward sometimes. But underneath all of their arguing and whatnot, they both actually really like each other.
    So, yeah. I don’t know if that applies, so it if doesn’t, by all means, dismiss this.

    Otherwise, I do think that Option 3 sounds like it should hopefully work. Heheh, so good luck!

    My editing isn’t going half-bad. I had to rewrite chapters two and three, partially, because things weren’t working out with one character and I figured out that if I added in this one event, it would not only fix one character, but also another character who I hadn’t even realized needed fixing. Heh, that was nice. I’m not quite done with fixing chapter three yet, so it’s going a little slowly, but I’m still happy with how well it’s working.
    And my mom told me that it’s now a school assignment to have this novel as close to being publishable as possible by the end of my senior year of high-school. Having a sudden deadline like that makes it both more exciting and more scary, hehe.

    • It’s a good suggesting, but it doesn’t work for this story. Thank you, though, Shim! *give you cookies*
      Going with Option 3. 🙂
      YAY FOR EDITING GOING WELL!
      WOW! That’s exciting! Is that next year?

      • Alrighty. I figured as much, hehe, but I thought it’d be better to suggest it for nothing. *takes cookies*

        Awesome.

        Yup! Next year. It’s so exciting and scary.

  3. Okay….I know I am in the minority here, but I dislike romance in books.

    But here’s the thing: I dislike it because no one writes it well.

    Like, Percy Jackson and the Olympians? I love how Riordan paces the romance, to the point that I’m tentatively basing my own story on a similar idea. It only shows itself in the final book or two, but there’s obvious signs in earlier books. For me, April and Nick hate each other now, but that will eventually change to trust and friendship. I want to see more of that kind of thing. So I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t like romance when it’s insta-love, but if it has a natural progression and feels like it’s not shoved in just for the sake of having it, I’m perfectly fine with it. YA needs more friendship, fewer love triangles. If it feels forced, I probably won’t keep reading.

    That said…not sure what I’d do here, since I refuse to write romantic storylines. Option Three seems to me like your best choice, but personally I wouldn’t have put romance in the first place, so…okay, I’m not being even remotely helpful now.

    Anyway, writing’s a bit tough right now. It looks like I need to do a huge plot change and restart. Honestly, though, I’m not upset at all about restarting, since I know I can keep many of my favorite scenes anyway with some editing, and there wasn’t a whole lot of novel there anyway.

    (I got your reference, by the way. I LOVE that book. One of my all time favorites.)

    • (A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorites, too! *gives you cookies*)

      You are welcome to read/write whatever you like, even if it is minority. 😀 I personally don’t like love triangles, either, even though I sort of wrote one in this book… (two guys both like one girl and she initially rejects both then falls for one, but there was never any Jacob vs. Edward here).

      • Yes! AWT rocks!!

        Honestly I doubt I’d really be bothered by that. If the triangle isn’t major, I’m okay. Technically, they exist in Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but they play very little part and I don’t mind them at all.

        • (Not sayin’ you’re silly, btw. I hate a terrible love triangle just like anyone else. But a good love triangle can be virtually unnoticed. So when we say we hate love triangles, we’d probably be better off saying that we hate bad love triangles.) 🙂

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