It's IWSG day, so I thought I'd edit this and include the badge. I think my post fits the overall "insecure" theme, because I know often first chapters can be the most challenging in novels, and the most demoralising. In my case, I almost always have to edit the crap out of them to make them passable. But it can take a while for me to get to the point of being daring enough to take big steps.
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Last time I posted, I mentioned that I had switched editing projects. I mistakenly said I was working on LOST & FOUND, when in fact I'm working on ON THE OUTSIDE. Maybe this goes to show that I have a stupid amount of novels to choose from when it comes to editing, and easily get confused between them all? ;)
Anyway, yes, I'm editing ON THE OUTSIDE. I sort of jump around a bit when editing, as there are so many bits I have wanted to edit, for so long (same with all my novels). This is the result of many skims / reads of the novel draft on my Kindle, where I put all drafts for convenient reading. But the bit that most troubles me about this novel appears to be the first chapter. It's a little bloated and boring, and I've already cut a bit out of it. But the other day I was thinking maybe I should just totally condense it down, and start off with the main point of the chapter - Livia (formerly named Nora...but it was too confusing having a Nora and her best friend Nina) is about to be abandoned by her bestie. Instead of a chapter that wafts around, slowly getting to the point, why not get straight to the point?
It's funny how editing can work - sometimes you'll tweak a chapter over and over, rewrite sentences, chop out a word here & there. And then one night when you're trying to get to sleep, you'll stare into the dark and wonder if maybe you shouldn't just chop out most of the pages in that first chapter. Your chapter is feeling bloated, it's suffocating you, and it's in severe need of a good hacking.
Well, that's what happened to me the other night. I haven't got my axe out yet, but I will be reading the chapter and considering how best to wield that axe.
It feels good to be in editing mode again.