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So much to do, so little time

Whenever I actually sit down to focus something writing-related, I’m reminded of how little time I have left before the summer is over and I have to start work and school. I have just over two weeks before training starts and five weeks before school starts. I’m trying to get ahead of my 52 books challenge, since I probably won’t have time to read much for fun during the fall, and I want to write the first draft of Keep Going (and find a new title for it), and I want to start editing Tilt Your Head and Smile and Degeneration.

I’ve decided to see how much of Tilt I can edit before Camp NaNo starts again. I decided to print draft 2. I’ve made some notes on the copy I have saved on my Nook, but it’s not the same. I like making edits on a hard copy. I have the notebooks I’ve already designated for this novel, the fine-tip Sharpie pens that my boyfriend got me for Christmas, and the sticky notes that my boyfriend’s mother got me for my birthday. I also have my soundtrack for this novel and my Script Frenzy mug full of tea. I should be all set to edit now.

Most of the editing articles I’ve seen advise against making line edits until you have the overall plot down, but I can’t work like that. I can’t see a mistake and then not fix it. I’m making notes as I go so that I can keep track of all the scenes and characters and whether or not they work in the novel. I’m also making notes of things that I need to add. I already know that I need to include more interactions between April and those close to her, so I’m trying to find places to insert those scenes. I’ve never had to make big edits like this before, so I’m a bit worried. In the past, I’ve just thrown the entire draft out and rewritten it. I don’t really want to have to keep doing that, though. From what I remember about this draft, I’m fairly happy with the overall structure of it.

I’m also happy with the outline I have for Keep Going. I’m planning on 33 chapters, including a prologue and epilogue, although I doubt I’ll refer to them as such in the novel. I’m a bit uncertain about the end, as the events of March 2009 are told pretty much exclusively from the points of view of Chloe and Samantha, but there’s not really much I can think to do about it at this point. I’ll just go with the outline I have and worry about it later. Either I’ll think of something to add involving Natalie as I’m writing, or I’ll try to fix it when I’m editing.

That’s proving to be one of the difficult parts about writing a novel with three main characters: I have to keep up with what all of them are doing and come up with complete storylines for each. Chloe and Samantha are easy to figure out, as they’re really the main main characters, but I’m having issues with Natalie. She’s important, as Chloe and Samantha wouldn’t really interact all that much without her, but I’m not really sure what to do with her towards the end of the novel. I didn’t have this much trouble when I was writing Learning to Lie, as those three main characters were all doing pretty much the same thing, at least for the most part. They had their own motivations and back stories, of course, but they were all on a quest to find the truth, so it was easy to find things for them to say.

Of course, I also wasn’t as concerned with keeping the number of chapters for each character even. I knew that Kali and Loki were my main characters and that Melina was a main supporting character. I suppose there’s not really a reason I can’t treat Natalie the same way. Besides, their numbers of chapters are fairly close. Samantha has 13 chapters, Chloe has 11, and Natalie has 9. It’s not like the other two each have 12 and she has 5 or something like that. I suppose I could just stop counting chapters and just have each chapter be a month and then have the scenes switch points of view.

I need to stop worrying about a novel I haven’t even written yet and start working the novel that actually needs to be edited. I can’t just keep writing first drafts – or even second drafts, for that matter – that don’t go anywhere. Getting the first draft on paper if, of course, important, but that only matters if I actually do something with the draft after I write it. I wrote the first draft in two weeks and the second draft in four. Hopefully I can at least get the first round of edits done in two weeks.