• Caroline Johnston

Help! I'm having fun editing!

I've just finished my first edit of Raincoats & Sunglasses, and do you know what? It's been a lot of fun! Of course there have been the wobbles of: is my writing good enough? will the story line grip readers? But overall I've enjoyed the experience.

During the last year or two I've worked my way through a few writing courses and read a tonne of social media posts/articles about writing. And one thing that seems to stand out is that we writers aren't huge fans of editing, but will keep at it till someone tells us to stop! There's always another word to change, description to expand, conversation to correct. When I hit the editing process for What If? and Rachel's Summer Adventure I felt bogged down with it all.

But here I am, with Raincoats & Sunglasses and I'm loving editing! It's such a great process to hone your craft; to go deeper with the characters, make those settings more realistic and really think about how you want the characters to interact with each other in their dialogue. Every change is making Raincoats & Sunglasses a better book, and that's exciting.

So why the different outlook with Raincoats & Sunglasses? This time (armed with my knowledge from the afore mentioned writing courses) I made a detailed plan before I started writing: I made up character profiles; planned the story line, including scene and sequel pairings, points of climax and epiphany, etc. So by the time I started the actual writing there was a solid framework to create around. The first draft was all about getting the story down as efficiently as possible. This first round of editing has been about expanding the story and the characters, and that's the element I'm enjoying. Although, and here's the disclaimer, in the courses it kind of makes it sound like one or two edit rounds and you're good to go. I'm thinking that's not going to be my experience, plus I've read plenty of social media posts from authors bemoaning their multiple rounds of editing, so I'm not fooled by the promises of a quick win.

Raincoats & Sunglasses is currently sitting at 80,000words. After the holidays I'll start the 2nd edit, which will again be quite substantial in terms of changes. Thereafter I'm pretty sure I'll get bogged down in the frustration of multiple rounds of occasional word changes. But for now it's fun!

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