I’m happy to say that the first draft of Rakkan Conquest 4 is complete, and I’ve moved on to the next phase—editing.
I’d like to say the hard part is over, but writing and editing are two different skill sets that each have their own challenges. Over the years, I have tried to smooth out my writing process by shifting work from “writing” to “editing”, for example, if I suddenly think of something I need to be added earlier in the story, I used to go back and change things immediately. But this tends to slow down the entire writing process, and you can end up redoing things twice. So now, I just make notes that I review once the draft is finished.
I should clarify what I mean by “editing” because there are many forms of it. Editing can be done at various levels, looking at either big picture things like characters, plot, structure etc (developmental editing) or at the minutiae of writing such as sentence structure, word choice and clarity (line or copy editing). I’m currently focusing on the big picture stuff, so new/deleting scenes, possibly removing/adding characters, or changing the pacing so that it flows better.
I have a few pages of notes I’ve gone through that I made as I wrote, and I’ve written a plan for what changes need to be made throughout the story. Some of them are easy; some of them are going to be a headache. And the hardest thing I’ve found in this developmental editing process is managing time and planning. Writing is quite easy to track—set a goal of X words per day and you know when you’ve done it. Likewise, line edits are also easy—you have Y pages and you do Z pages a day. Progress is easy to track. But for big edits, a one-sentence comment can involve changing a few words, or writing a few thousand new ones. So I’m left not really knowing how far I’ve come or how far there is to go. I’m on chapter 14 at the moment, but that could mean I have another two days or two weeks left to do before it’s ready for alpha readers.
The best thing to do at this stage is just put my head down and power through. So I’ll end this blog update here and do just that 🙂