Every week is becoming a writing milestone week in my writing career. Those who are unaware, I began my first novel less than three years ago. Since then, I completed two drafts with the first over 100k words. The second written during NaNoWriMo and is 50k. The novels need editing or revision to bring them to publication.
Aside from the novel drafts, I wrote a microstory published here and a short short story submitted to a contest.
The milestone this week was completing a first edit of the shorter draft novel.
What did editing show me about my writing?
There are multiple areas for improvement as noted here.
I am a wordy writer. I enjoy using adjectives and adverbs at every opportunity. Concise sentences reduce the word count and require disciplined writing. Additionally, more scenes needed to get the word count to an acceptable level for the genre.
I have a particular love for the word that. I use it at every opportunity. How often is that? Approximately 300 times in the 50,200+ word draft.
I enjoy passive verbs. Given the choice of active versus passive verbs, I chose passive more often.
Vague or abstract words replace precise or distinct descriptors. This enables the reader to insert himself/herself into the novel visualizing whatever comes to their mind. Should I hinder their involvement?
The Point of View (POV) character is rarely named after the first sentence of a passage. The multiple uses of he, she, him, and her in the same and connecting sentences offer the user the challenge to figure out who is taking action in the passage. Don’t readers appreciate the opportunity?
Should I continue to edit or revise?
Most certainly others are required! Consideration for the reader in mind, another editing pass is mandatory. I suspect the second may turn into five, ten, or maybe twenty revisions.
Is my experience different from yours when writing a novel? Let me hear from you using the attached form.