Let The Editing Commence! (Also, A Guessing Game…)

So…this is happening:

That’s right. I have officially plunged into the abyss that is the first draft of Full Circle.

I haven’t looked at it in a few months (I set aside every first draft for at least three months), and I’m wading into this first round of revisions with some trepidation. A lot of trepidation, really. The book feels too short to me. Which is weird, I know, given that it’s clocking in at 236,000 words. But still, it feels short. I also remember being unhappy with the ending, and I just know I’m going to be unhappy with a hell of a lot more than that as I make my way through these 755 pages.

Which is, of course, to be expected when reading through one’s first draft. As much as I may hate it, first drafts are meant to be imperfect messes. As Terry Pratchett once said, “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” I think it was Neil Gaiman who said, “In your second draft, make it look like you knew what you were doing all along.”

So this is what I am aiming to do. Figure out if this damn thing is somehow too short. Identify weak and/or lazy writing (not that there will be any of that…) that needs to be improved. Locate and kill any and all darlings (RIP, goat conversation). Fix any plot and/or character arcs that aren’t quite arcing the way I want them to. Laugh my ass off at all the unintentionally hilarious typos. See if the ending is really as bad as I remember it being (or if it is, in fact, worse).

And so on and so forth.

This generally takes me a while. A long while. But, as mentioned in my previous post, my goal for the year is to get through this round of revisions and send the manuscript off to my beta readers. (Hear that, betas? I’m coming for you. You know, eventually. I mean, it’s really gonna be a while. You know how slow I am.)

But anyway, all this brings me to the guessing game portion of this post…

How many red pens and blue highlighters will be required to get through this first draft?

Post your guess in the comments below. Whomever is closest without going over (we play by The Price Is Right rules in this house…) will win a copy of Full Circle when it’s finally released upon the world. (Please note: That won’t be until 2023 at the earliest. Remember that I am slower than slow.) If multiple people guess the winning combination, they will be entered into a drawing to determine the winner.

Some stats to help you determine your guess:

Second Nature:

—4 pens

—3 highlighters

—324,000 words

Terrible Romance Novel Love & Other Lies:

—2 pens

—2 highlighters

—95,000 words

Best of luck to everyone who enters!

Thanks for stopping by today. It’s always appreciated.

Stay safe and well, all!

16 Commentsto Let The Editing Commence! (Also, A Guessing Game…)

  1. Liz A. says:

    Just remember, you can take the goat conversation and release it to your email subscribers or Patrons. Call it a bonus scene 😉

    My guess: 9 pens, 6 highlighters. Good luck.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      I’m pretty sure that goat conversation would lose me any email subscribers I had. Any bonus scene I shared would have to be waaaaaaaaaay better than that one. 🙂

      Thanks for entering my little giveaway!

  2. J E Oneil says:

    I’m going to guess three pens and three highlighters because that seems statistically close to the mark.

  3. Jemi Fraser says:

    Not the goats!!!!
    My guess… 4 pens & 4 highlighters 🙂

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Yep. The Legend of the Goat Conversation now lives in the deleted scenes folder, never again to see the light of day. 🙂

  4. That’s a lot of words. That equals three of my books.
    I’d say three pens and three highlighters.

  5. Chrys Fey says:

    I was going to guess three pens and three highlighters, too. As J E said, it sounds statistically close.

  6. Good luck with your editing! I wish I could motivate myself in that direction… I’m guessing 3 of each. Sounds likely…

  7. Eeeeek! Edits! I have those in my near future. Good luck! I want to hear more about this goat conversation. It sounds way too important.

    5 pens, 4 highlighters.

  8. Best of luck to you in the editing of this manuscript. It’s kind of amazing how quickly one can eat up 230,000 words.

  9. Julie Puttock says:

    5 pens 4 highlighters

  10. I’m going with 2 highlighters and 3 pens. Good luck!

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