Editing

Jan. 5th, 2013 11:20 am
darkemeralds: Photo of fingers on a computer keyboard. (Writing)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
[personal profile] ravurian, one of those rare birds who is an accomplished writer and an incisive editor, has been helping me face the editing of Restraint for publication by breaking the massive project into a series of approachable steps.


  • Task One: summarize the whole novel in a sentence.

    This is painfully difficult, and I couldn't have done it without stealing from [personal profile] ravurian's original review of the story. It takes an outsider to boil the outpourings of your heart down to a single sentence, lemme tell ya.

    Here's a Twitterized version:

    A story of art, identity and sexuality in 19th century England, and the changing fortunes of two men whose love defies society's constraints.

  • Task Two: write a three-sentence summary of each chapter.

    Not nearly as painful as Task One, Task Two has thrown into high relief all the dear scenes of pure, beloved fanservice (shaving scene, anyone?), and the authorial self-indulgence for which the story has been justly criticized.

  • Task Three: print out these summaries (paper! I know, right?) and slice them into strips, then lay them out and scootch them around to find new structure possibilities.

    A steel table top covered with strips of paper, each containing a chapter summary
    Laying it all out.

    A steel table top covered with strips of paper and a big gray cat sitting on them
    Junior editor

    Strips of chapter summaries all heaped up in a jumble
    Randomness! Maybe I can read the pile like Tarot cards or something.

So far, I've identified four places other than Chapter 1 where I could potentially start the story for greater impact. Three big thematic groups have emerged. The key points of conflict are clear. I'm starting to see the story's new shape. It's kind of exciting.



So, thanks to [personal profile] ravurian (and Graydie), I'm on my way.

(I need a project name. Hmm. "Project Publish"? "Project Cut 100,000 Words"? "Project File Off The Serial Numbers"? Suggestions?)

Date: 2013-01-05 10:16 pm (UTC)
executrix: (writerscode)
From: [personal profile] executrix
"Project Lucifer"?
To end this tale, just call me Lucifer...
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

Date: 2013-01-06 02:03 pm (UTC)
executrix: (horcrux)
From: [personal profile] executrix
Long Spoon sold separately.

Date: 2013-01-05 10:29 pm (UTC)
donutsweeper: (Default)
From: [personal profile] donutsweeper
Your assistant there seems less intent on helping than one would have hoped.....

Date: 2013-01-05 10:35 pm (UTC)
ranunculus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ranunculus
FOTSN?
PCW 100K?

Date: 2013-01-06 05:08 am (UTC)
ranunculus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ranunculus
I love flotsam, but FOTSN seems rather more positive for a writing project!! Still I love the sillyness of the acronym.

Date: 2013-01-05 11:34 pm (UTC)
panisdead: (Default)
From: [personal profile] panisdead
SUPER INTERESTING to watch the de- and re-construction. I hope you continue to post about this as it pleases you!

Date: 2013-01-06 02:48 pm (UTC)
ravurian: (insufferable british snob)
From: [personal profile] ravurian
GOWI (Get On With It). JDI (Just Do It). SOGOP (Shit or get off pot). DNGBTS (Do Not Go Back To Sleep!), which you could call Dingbats! TRON - Tristan/John and The Restraint Original Novel Project. I could go on. The possibilities are endless.

Date: 2013-01-06 03:31 pm (UTC)
kis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kis
So, you're actually doing it!

ravurian, one of those rare birds who is an accomplished writer and an incisive editor has been helping me face the editing

And you found someone perfect to help!



Date: 2013-01-07 08:50 am (UTC)
kis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kis
Well, good luck with it.

Date: 2013-01-13 10:09 pm (UTC)
tehomet: (Grammar!)
From: [personal profile] tehomet
Junior editor

*cackles*

Date: 2013-03-02 09:03 am (UTC)
wedjateye: Eye of Horus on gorgeous blue background (Default)
From: [personal profile] wedjateye
Hi - random flyby. Good on you for taking this on. I shall cross everything.

The only useful piece of advice I picked up somewhere about being published (possibly from Neil Gaiman but I don't recall precisely) was basically you have to write for yourself, things you want to read, and not for some mythical audience taste. Easy to spout that when I'm not trying to be published, of course.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, you already wrote what you wanted to. Squillions of others liked it (judging by AO3 numbers). So by all means change it in the ways you want to but the shameless bits you put in for you and other fans may be the bits that make people want to buy it.

Good luck!

I'd like to say I'll be around more but it's probably unrealistic.

Date: 2013-03-03 10:27 am (UTC)
wedjateye: Eye of Horus on gorgeous blue background (Default)
From: [personal profile] wedjateye
I miss talking about my life and hearing about yours in turn. That was the reason for the flyby - I wondered how you were. Your icon brought a (mixed happy and wistful) tear to my eye.

Perhaps one day soonish I can be around more regularly. My youngest is 2 1/2 now and I get regular sleep but I still seem to have very, very little free time. My desk is avalanching behind me as I write! Still, it's mostly happy chaos.

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