So. Guess what? I’ve been making solid progress on the perpetual novel.
As I write this, my progress meter, as measured by completed scenes, reads at 92.37%. Translation: only 9 more scenes to edit then I’m “done.” (Don’t you just love those quotation marks?)
(Almost) Endless Edits
My goal is to complete all of my personal edits by the end of August. The progress meter is for all that remains…to a certain extent. See, I have a stack of notes scribbled on scraps of 1/4 sheets of paper that I’ve been chopping through, making sure each concern is dealt with in a linear fashion—that is, from chapter to chapter, beginning to end. Right now, I’m down to two notes, which means most likely, I don’t have much left in the way of structural edits to worry about. The remaining 9 scenes should go pretty smoothly.
I’ll probably even finish these edits by the end of next weekend.
Now, after that, will that really mean I’m “done” with editing? Not really. See, even after all of these edits, I’ve found it helpful to go back and reread the five “parts” or sections that I’ve divided my novel into because hey, every change potentially brings another problem. Like a disturbance of overall cadence or altogether omitted words.
Yup, can’t catch them all.
So far, I’ve only done this with Part I. I started Part II but then other changes I made later required tweaking a few things in this section again. So really, I need to do a quick reread of Parts II through V—and I do mean quick ’cause I’m sick of looking at this thing. But like in the best way possible. (It’s funny what your brain picks up when all the major issues have been taken care of versus when you still have those to fix.)
Even after I do a quick reread of my edits, I expect beta readers will still find things because I always find something when I look back. I’m pretty much at the point now where I can’t rely on my eyes anymore. Beta readers will be very helpful for a variety of reasons. (I’m mostly interested to see people’s emotional and intellectual responses to my story, to be honest.) Though, even after I’ve gotten their feedback and taken that into consideration (meaning more edits), I expect I’ll want to hire an editor to look over my work for me—especially if I decide to self-publish.
Then, say I do find representation by a literary agent instead then later a publishing house if I go the traditional route. Naturally, they will require even more edits.
As you can see, “done” isn’t really “done” until the final proof of a novel is submitted for publication, really. As far as I know. In the meantime…