First Draft Edit. Five Things to Ponder.

A worn down building in Mexico sporting a "For Rent" notice in spanish.Oh, the joys of reading through the first draft of your next book.
It’s a little like looking through a dilapidated old fixer upper of a house, then laying out your hard-earned dosh (that’s kiwi speak for dollars) to buy it, before kissing goodbye the next chunk of your life to the mistress of renovations.
Despite some seriously cringe-worthy moments of “did I really write that” – the first draft of my NaNoWriMo inspired “Love Entwined” is not what I would call truly awful. But, there is no denying, it is definitely in need of a truck load of love and attention.
That’s my way of saying it needs work. And lots of it.
Turning the pages, I find myself thinking…“well, the bones of the story is there – yep at least it’s got good bones.”
How many times have you heard a designer, architect or a “move that bus” TV guy talk about the good bones theory? For some reason, if a house, castle, shed, or whatever else is left standing, isn’t derelict and destined for doomsville, it’s all down to its “good bones.”
With that theory in mind, there is hope for my first draft.
It doesn’t need to be knocked down, totally demolished, and rebuilt into a fantastically spectacular book. Rather, it’s crying out for a good old-fashioned dose of lots of hard out editing work.
With careful and constructive renovations, along with what I hope could only be termed creative flair, the good bones will get meat on them while morphing into a story worth telling. And worthy of my reader’s valuable outlay and time.
Along with the never ending search for spelling mistakes, here’s a list of the top five things I’m paying particular attention to while reading/editing my way through the first draft of Love Entwined.

  1. The Characters. Their development, and the cultivation of their personalities and roles, along with their introduction into the story.
  2. Two timing adjectives. To quote The View Outside blog “they don’t need to travel around in pairs.”
  3. Stripping and peeling back the scenes and dialogue to get to the heart of the matter. That’s a nice way of saying “less is more.” Cut, slash, and toss out what’s not needed.
  4. Emotional connection. Does the emotion and tension resonate and strike a chord without going overboard and sounding too cheesy?
  5. Pace. Is the story crawling along at a snail’s pace, or is it sprinting faster than Usain Bolt blitz’s the 100m?

Magdalena’s e-book Love in the Vines is now available on Amazon Kindle. Love Entwined is the sequel, and is due out early-mid 2013.
Love in the Vines
is a contemporary romance novel set in the intoxicating world of wine and food. Food, wine, love and betrayal. Like wine, love begins in the vines. Betrayal begins in the heart of a marriage.

 

Words. Words. More Words.


Sorry for my blogging absence.
I’ve been glued to my screen and chair while doing the final edit of my second e-book, Love in the Vines.
Now well and truly down the road of my 5th edit, I can happily say, it’s shaping up to be a great read.
As a reader I know how irritating editing gaffes can be, so I figure it pays to spend a lot of time poring over every word.
I’m on a tight, correct that, very tight budget. My mother and sister (the wonderful Coby) are proving to be worth their weight in editing gold. Their combined editing skills shine.
The other week I emailed the rough draft to a couple of friends to read. And, without giving them any leading questions or pointers, all my message said was – “If you have time, please read and let me know what you think. The kicker is, I’d love to have your feedback in three days time. So that leaves you the weekend, plus one day.”
Well to my surprise they read it and shared incredible feedback, sending me back to re-work, edit, and make the changes suggested.
Tomorrow is my final word for word read through…..hopefully by the weekend or early next week, Love in the Vines will be in the safe hands of Amazon Kindle.
That is, if I can master and survive the Kindle file conversion and upload.

PS. The cover design is still in progress. It looks like the words Food | Wine | Love | Betrayal outside of the heart won the most Facebook and Blog votes.