1. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Plot Editing....

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Keitsumah, Jul 12, 2013.

    I'm currently editing part one of my first novel, The Starshade's legacy, and i just came across several bits that are driving me utterly nuts. Small things like a character hearing a voice in her head, and that same voice is used by another character later on, but there is no recognition.... now i have to go and change that and a bunch of other things afterwards to make this more beleivable...

    Anyone ever do that? It drives me up the wall now because i have to choose between cutting one scene out entirely or keeping it with a LOT of edits.
     
  2. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Yes, absolutely - in the third and fourth drafts I made a ton of changes to make things more consistent, or believable, or create links between different parts of the story.

    And if the scene doesn't add anything to the progression of the characters or story, lose it.
     
  3. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    ...yes? I haven't even finished my the first draft of my novel but I already have a good idea of what I'll change, cut and leave the same. Yes, it's frustrating but in the long run, most edits can make your story even better :)
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    All the time. It's part of the editing process. Some things I've found in my own writing - 1) different names for the same character (usually because I couldn't make up my mind), 2) same or similar name for two different characters, 3) characters suddenly being in a scene without my having put them there, 4) characters introduced and then mysteriously disappear from story (usually an indication that I may not actually need the character in the first place), 5) characters reappearing after being written out, 6) events occurring that couldn't possibly occur given the constraints of the story already written, 7) real events used in the story occurring earlier or later than they did in real life.

    And, yes, correction often requires extensive re-writes. This is why I review and edit a novel at least a dozen times before I'm anywhere near satisfied with it. Welcome to the club.
     
  5. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    I hate it when I change a plot point then find out I haven't extracted all references to it as I'm reading through the draft for the umpteenth time.

    What? Why did they mention so-and-so? They haven't even met him yet....

    Argh. Drives me nuts.
     
  6. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Same here. I had to make it so that the two main chars do not know each other's name until later on, and i still find bits that i have to cut out. Another thing is making one character fear something he doesn't really understand, as well as getting rid of the fact that he knew his mom was that exact thing he feared. (does not make sense) *rolls my eyes at my own mistakes* but then that's what editing is for is it not? lol, at least i know that the story only gets better.

    hopefully...
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, sometimes if you can't keep something without making a LOT of edits, it might be indication that the idea never worked in the first place, and actually ought to be cut, or at least altered. Be careful you don't force your story in a certain direction simply because you think an idea or scene is really really cool (or beautiful, or well-written, or whatever) - sometimes it's worth letting go of one cool idea so that 5 other cool ideas would work, rather than forcing that 1 cool idea into the 5 others, and that 1 messing all the other 5 up (I speak from experience here - trust me, you really don't wanna learn this the hard way if you can help it)

    In any case, welcome to the club girl... :D
     
  8. EmmaWrite
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    EmmaWrite Member

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    I, as a general rule, wait to make major edits until I'm completely finished with the first draft. Maybe it's a habit left over from NaNoWriMo, but my creative writing teacher suggests it to keep from getting stuck on one part. In the end, you'll find that pretty much everything gets rewritten in the edits and the first draft is just about getting the foundation down for the story. All first drafts are ugly and will eventually show some quality if you work at it.
     
  9. stanislav
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    stanislav Member

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    The tie of editing and rewriting should be a time of maturity. Gaining experience thorough the process, writer has better understanding with his manuscript, with his idea and final goal. If the writer has potential, writing only improve his skills, and every rewriting could be very exhausting when you try to improve the quality of earlier work.
     
  10. Steve Day
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    Steve Day Senior Member

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    One of the pitfalls of writing a longer work is "painting yourself in a corner". And then going through all sorts of contortions to get out.
    That can be prevented by staying a few steps ahead of the 'action', knowing where it is going. You do not have to have the entire plot set in stone.

    Perhaps you did not sufficiently describe that 'voice' she heard. Because if you had, then you would recognize it talking to a different character later on. And slap it down, say 'go back where you belong, you peripatetic voice!'
     

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