At 00.23 last night I finished the first round of editing. Man, that got to be a real labour of love towards the end. I’ve added just shy of 10,000 words, including two whole new chapters and a lot of new scenes, and I honestly believe it’s a better book now. Which is good, because you shouldn’t really be devolving during editing.
The upshot, of course, is that there’s now material in there which is relatively new to me too. The story has grown from its original structure which means that I don’t have a complete recollection of every part any more. This isn’t exactly a new experience – it happens with work projects all the time. You start out with the bare bones, all of which you’re intimately acquainted with, and then you add a bit here and tweak a bit there. When you look back at the whole thing, you don’t really recognise it any more. It’s good – it means I can rediscover my own words and be surprised by them. Maybe, if they’re good enough, even enjoy them.
But there needs to be a cohesiveness in all this tweaking. So that’s Stage 3 – a read-through from beginning to end, with a check-list of themes and a new red pen.