“Flying Taxis,” She Nodded (Editing Diary Part 4)

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 21, June 1st, 2020

Edited the first few pages of chapter eight—more precisely, 1,715 words. It’s one of the slower chapters, which makes it easier for me to focus on the details. I love the visuality of the novel—and not just because it’s inspired by art history—but it remains to be seen whether it’ll translate to the readers like I imagined it.

Found out that Karolina froze twice in the same scene.

Karol keeps nodding.

And is it just me or do other people from non-English speaking countries feel like they’ve forgotten English after they’ve spent some time over their copy? Or is it not language related? Because sometimes it happens to me with editing my stuff in Croatian, too…

Still running on the high from my partner-turned-beta-reader’s yesterday evening feedback, which was more than generous. The biggest issue she’s had so far was the slow opening. It will take me a while before I reach the best opening chapter I’ve written so far again (Werewolf Novel No. 3), so I don’t even have to try. But I will do my best to shuffle stuff around a bit for a better reading experience.

Oh, and setting up things for plots relevant to two or four books later in the series is a nightmare.

Day 22, June 2nd, 2020

Managed to squeeze the remainder of chapter eight in today. Still careful because of last week’s health issues.

Spent almost twenty minutes over one word. And I’m not that type of a perfectionist or poetical writer. It’s not even the second language thing—I’ve no idea what word to use in Croatian, either! (Ended up picking ‘colorful’, which is a pretty simple word—and one which I didn’t need the internet for in the end.)

I’ve started doubting my ability to publish a functional novel in English, though. I lack so many words. I’ve spent so many years learning the skill in Croatian, and I still sometimes manage to write boring copy. (Not even talking about plot structure!) Seeing these chapters makes me remember why it took me so long before I even started thinking I could do it.

Luckily, giving up is not an option at this time, so there’s that.

Also, ‘the woman’ is still floating around, and I’m exerting the author’s right to no mercy whatsoever.

Day 23, June 3rd, 2020

Completely forgotten the novel even existed today. Edited the first few paragraphs of the next chapter before going to sleep.

Oh, and I worked on three separate stories for my first ever short story collection – the same one which ate a lot of time from last week – including the final, wrap-up one. Which means I basically worked through the whole day, just not on the revision. Nobody’s perfect.

Day 24, June 4th, 2020

Got news so dark today I’m not even sharing.

Of course, when you look into the abyss, you also look into the face of the fact how much you want to write. And thinking of flying taxis (yes, I’m that cheap) and Art Deco ornamental façades (architecture history nerd, guilty as charged) proved a welcome reprieve right now.

Oh, and stockings!

The question I face today is—is it bad form if I keep using lightly sexist ‘gentlemanly’ behaviour to portray a queer female character, and in a positive light? Does it even work? And who gets to say yes or no? (Ooooooh, readers. Heavy.)

Also, how often does, exactly, Karolina need to shrug? (Not that often.)

Had to look up ‘to a T’, and I’m still not sure if I even need the phrase. But I love the sound of it, so I’m letting it stay.

Day 25, June 5th, 2020

Opened chapter nine today. Closed it promptly thereafter. We’ll see if my brain clears up enough later in the day. (Highly doubt it.)

The second attempt went better. I inadvertently motivated myself by reading other writers’ blogs about writing—Courtney Milan and Tess Gerritsen today—which is how I get myself going when the going gets tough even in easier times.

Getting rid of some really unnecessary descriptive parts today. Having doubts about the pacing altogether—and about my own guess as to how much description is enough, and how much is too much.

Still breaking apart sentences… the ‘but’ is a pain in the butt.

Edited 1247 words total in the end. Cut 260 words in one spot in the chapter because even I could tell it was unnecessarily slowing the pace down. Especially because the scene immediately after starts warming the romance plot up a bit. I’m so ready for the romance plot. It’s one of the few things I adore about this novel.

Day 26, June 6th, 2020

Not really feeling like writing today. Had to open the novel, though, because—well, because public accountability is the shit for me, apparently.

Also, the scene waiting for me is one of my (many) favourite tropes.

…And just like that, chapter nine is over (we tend to our wounded, we count our dead). Took the last 163 words out and dumped them at the beginning of chapter 10 because I’d originally misjudged the best place for the cut. Took a hard look at a curious word I’d picked while writing it—fucker—and got rid of it without a second thought. Must be a NaNoWriMo-heat-of-the-moment thing.

Is ‘sci-fi romantic suspense a thing’? Because I am, once again, reminded that this novel wouldn’t work at all without the romance plot.

Day 27, June 7th, 2020

Got a page done on the go (sometimes the tablet’s more than a lifesaver!), but that’s it. That’s it for today. It’ll probably be it for tomorrow, too; we’ll see.

I’m nearing the middle of the novel, and I’m trying to motivate myself with that, just because I want to be able to say I’ve edited half the novel! Yes, I could’ve had it done in half the time or less. This year, though, it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s fun to notice, though, that it took me a little over 30 days to write novel—and I’ve not even halfway through editing it in the same amount of time. Let’s shelve the need for a speedier editing process under my life goals for 2021, shall we?

Day 28, June 8th, 2020

Day off from life today.

Yup, it’s why the post is a day later this week. #noregrets

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