Editing

Statistical Frolics

As promised, I finally got around to finishing the comparison stats for my story.  Which probably won’t interest anyone except my test-readers… or maybe just me, LOL.  Anyway, here are the differences between the version my test-readers read over the summer (2nd draft) and the version I just finished last week (3rd or 4th draft, depending on how you look at it).

OLD VERSION

Title:  Eyes of a Bird
Word count:  104,295
Chapters:  18, plus a prologue and epilogue.
Playlist songs:  20
Age of main character:  12 (6th grade)

NEW VERSION

Title:  Eyes of Lightning
Word count:  97,562
Chapters:  20
Playlist songs:  20, but I replaced “Chocolate” with “4 AM” and “Hey Wait” with “Learning to Breathe”
Age of main character:  15 (freshman) 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between editing, revising, and rewriting.  I never was sure which term to use, and I still don’t know how the professionals define each one–or maybe the terms are interchangeable.  But here’s what my writing process felt like for Eyes of Lightning:

Nov 07 to Jan 08:  writing first draft.
March to June:  editing (which consisted of more research to fill in the gaps, making the story better, etc).
Aug & Sept:  revising (little changes based on reader feedback). 
Oct to last week:  rewriting.

And by rewriting, I mean I reread each word and decided whether to keep it, cut it, or change it.  Several passages I even read aloud to get a better feel for how it sounded.  Since I made my MC three years older, I had to make sure every detail fit the new tone of the book.  My original first chapter disappeared completely.  My original second chapter became the new beginning, but even it was hacked at and rewritten.  I had to change parts of every school scene, of course.  And I questioned every line of dialogue for every character based on their new ages.  I’d think, “Would he/she really say that?  What slang or contractions would make it sound more believable?”  I found slips into passive voice that I hadn’t noticed before; extra, unnecessary words I could get rid of; words or phrases I used repeatedly.  I thought of new word choices, metaphors, and sarcastic phrases.  The new version is tighter and, in my biased opinion, better.  

For now I’m taking a break from EOL and trying to catch up on everything else in life–all the things I neglected the past few weeks.  So if I owe you an email, letter, phone call, or anything at all, let me know!  Because most likely, I’ve forgotten it by now.  And thanks for putting up with me, guys.  🙂  

Any writing news or achievements you want to share?  Leave me a comment!  Happy Friday, everyone!!

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