I have some exciting news that is greatly encouraging. I received an honourable mention from Writers of the Future for the story that I submitted. N.L. Lavigne of Canada. That’s me. 🙂 It’s a huge contest with some very exciting awards (money, publication, awards ceremony in LA and a week-long workshop), which is just for emerging writers.
… and collapses. I did it, I totalled 53 hours of editing time on the novel. It is still far from finished. It shrunk over 20,000 words from when I started. The final chapters are largely unedited still, but I have about a dozen new scenes to write (or to replace existing scenes) so that should bring the wordcount back up a little. Once that is done that will bring it up to draft 2. Then I get to print it off (I’ve just been working on the computer this round since the first draft was so rough, no point wasting paper and ink on it with so much chopping to be done) and comb through it some more. I’ve got some notes on things I want to weave through the story (development of characters and relationships, parallels and the like). I have started to put some of those things in already in a few places but not enough or consistently enough. I’ll get a bit more in as I take it from draft 2 to draft 3, then after that I’ll have to work through the novel again for each of those threads so I can focus on one at a time and make sure all the little breadcrumbs are in place. Derek has developed a theory, based on the results of this challenge, that it takes 100-200 hours to take a novel from draft 1 to 2. For curiosity’s sake I am going to continue tallying hours of editing, just to see. I will hit draft 4 or 5 at least before I’ve done as much as I can and am willing to pass it on to a couple of first readers for their feedback.
But for now I am giving myself a much needed breather from the novel so that I can focus on some short stories that are in much need of attention. I’ve got two more stories re-edited and submitted to different markets (one I had to do in June during the challenge). Now I’m editing a story I narrowly finished drafted before starting the insanity that was June. I want to put that one before the critiquing group in August so I have ample time to edit it for the deadline at the end of September. Then I have a few more stories that have been critiqued already to edit and start sending those out into the wild blue yonder.