Did Karolina Just Nod Again? (Editing Diary Part 3)

Welcome to my weekly series where I note the ups and down of editing my queer dieselpunk (murder) mystery! Read the first post in the series here.

Day 14, May 25th, 2020

Got two pages in on the fly before it became too hard for me to concentrate. I ship my MCs so hard. Hard enough, actually, to be afraid I might miss more than I usually do when editing my first drafts.

Nevermind, the first few days of a week are usually not my most productive ones anyway. (Today’s Monday, duh.)

Day 15, May 26th, 2020

Managed to get a few paragraphs in rather late in the day, but my eyes are so done with me.

And now we face a welcome, familiar and still bothersome writing habit—starting new shit while you’re still working on your old shit. I don’t want to waste too much time on it, but I’ve finished a short story (started this weekend) today, and wrote a couple hundred words in another short story (started last year) and now I’m finally planning on launching my first every short story collection later in 2020. I just need to finish three stories currently underway and make at least another two happen. The problem is the setting. I love the setting.

The same way I love everything about Johnny’s Girls, but this novel is already six months old. The stories are new every day.

Get your mind back into the game, Vesna, or I swear I will take your mockup covers privileges away.

Day 16, May 27th, 2020

The strangest thing happened—I found out that chapter four (previously chapter five) was almost double in wordcount because I had accidentally copied the whole chapter twice. But, the good news is that I got the whole chapter finally finished today, so there’s that! Still breaking apart sentences. Still in love with my MC2, the romantic interest. We’re doing fine. Everything will be fine. (Narrator…)

Day 17, May 28th, 2020

Didn’t touch the novel today because I’ve just finished (errrr, some tiny editing still needed) my third short story in as many days and it is now 9:52 PM and my eyes are going to bleed. I’ll need to slow down with the stories any day now, but I still hope to get at least two more chapters of the novel edited this weekend. This is only the second day I’ve skipped since the start—still looking good.

Day 18, May 29th, 2020

Skipped the stories this morning in favour or chapter five. Not even sorry.

The problem is that I’ve just reached the genre elements infodump, and I’m more interested in my characters and their drama than how exactly the not-science-not-really-magic works in this world. I distinctly remember taking pains while first writing this chapter to avoid descriptive details which would evoke the biggest inspiration for this novel, but it’s hard. Editing it is even harder.

And I guess it’s relevant to note that no editing would’ve been done at all this week if not for this diary and the pesky accountability thing I’m trying out here. Big, important point.

Oh, and I’ve just realized another random reason why I dislike editing so much. Since this week I’ve been doing both—writing new fiction as well as editing pre-written one—it’s made me aware of how fun writing new shit is, to me, how thrilling and exciting and [insert relevant synonyms here], and how boring mechanic editing can get. Especially when you have an okay copy. No wonder I avoid it like, ummmm, what’s the 2020 acceptable synonym to insert here?

Oh, what do we have here, after all, late in the day? Do we have contact with the end of chapter five? We have contaaaaact!

Enter chapter six. And I have to tell you—continuity is a bitch. My MC reaches for the MC2’s arm, but, a page and a half later, collides with the MC2 when she jumps in shock. And her arm was… were, exactly? (Easy fix, luckily. She retracted her hand in the first spot. Drama is always welcome.)

And I have no idea what happened, but I’m done with chapter six now, too. And apparently I’m going to have to read a book about cuisine in post-war (that’s WW2 for you folks) Yugoslavia. Let’s call that research for book two, ‘kay?

Day 19, May 30th, 2020

Skipped today. Went to bed with a headache yesterday and woke up with one. Swapped the white screen today for napping, snacking, reading and knitting. Life happens.

Day 20, May 31st, 2020

It’s the end of the longest week this year, for me, emotionally. (Yes, even in Europe. Yes, even in the “far” reaches of Europe.) I’ve courted the idea of evading editing today, too, but realized I couldn’t look myself in the eye tomorrow if I posted yet another empty entry here. Yay for accountability.

Reached a logistics issue at a spot where my MC should’ve probably reacted pretty wildly to a new piece of info. The problem is that the info is sort of groundbreaking to her, but I can’t elaborate on it as much as it would be wise to do because it’s a main plot point for (already planned) book three. It’s possible I’ll have to get back to this spot before release, but after my beta partner reads the copy. It would be easier if my brain fog were lighter today, but, alas.

My main focus today—trying not to lose sleep over the sheer amount of repetitions of “Karolina nodded” which I had to exterminate from the copy in the past twenty days.

Adding pieces of dialogue in chapter seven which I’m not even sure how I managed to miss them in the first place. The joys of the NaNo rush.

Chapter seven is done! It was… long, but shippable. I live to edit another day.

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Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash.