I decided to set myself a timetable for the initial editing process, otherwise nothing would get done! So, as I’m off to Brisbane for ten days next week because my Fiji visa runs out and believe it or not it’s only about US$70 more expensive to fly to Australia than it is to extend the visa in Fiji, my target is to finish the first ‘run through’ before I leave.
So far, I’ve averaged six chapters per day, working three full days, and I do mean FULL days. Just to clarify, by editing I mean firstly reading each chapter, maybe rewriting sections I’m not so happy with, then doing a grammar/spellcheck, then a word count. I aim for five thousand words per chapter, and if I’m more than 8% in excess, I’ll either look at deleting anything that doesn’t drive the story forward, or move the ‘excess’ to the next chapter if it’s necessary to retain it for continuity purposes. That’s only happened once so far, mainly it’s been excess that I can delete, and boy can that be hard if you think it’s a ‘neat turn of phrase’.
I’ve also been writing chapter summaries as I go, so all in all things are progressing. As tempting as it is to get this finished then blast it off to Emma the Agent, I may just finish this week then sit on it until I get back, then look again with a fresh eye. The only problem with that is things are ‘hotting up’ on the boat front. My new rudder posts are now in Fiji (haven’t got them yet, but they were released by Customs at Nadi airport on the afternoon of the 14th, so the first job today is ring bloody TNT and get them delivered. What was advertised as an eight day delivery will turn out to be ONE MONTH!!! Folks, DON’T USE TNT. I’ve had no word of an apology, nor explanation as to what took so long! Terrible service, I certainly won’t use them again.
Anyway, be that as it may, it looks like I may be busy with the boat interior in order to meet my self-imposed launch deadline of April 7th, so I may be too knackered to do much work on the old editing front, and I know from experience that when you get tired the quality of the editing slips. It also occurs that a writer is not the best person to edit his/her work. Removing the bloopers and obvious inconsistencies are easy enough, but the rest just looks so good!