Writing Notes by Today, I Wrote…

Passionate prose is my PARAMOUR.

December 10

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Chapter by Chapter Editing

by Ann-Kat

Yeah, I know that I said I was sticking my novel in a drawer until I was ready to edit it, but I just can’t get it out of my mind; it’s not ready to sleep just yet. So, I find myself doing something interesting: editing chapter by chapter.

Before, I would run off the entire novel (at least, what I had), then read it through and just mark it as I went. Now, I’m only printing off one chapter at a time, beginning from the first. The goal is to tighten up the scenes, edit the language and errors, and overall, polish it, then move on to the next.

As I’m finishing up with Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (which is a marvelous book, by the way), I’ve made some wonderful notes about scene construction that I plan to put into use, the main one being the HIP method.

  1. Hook readers early
  2. Intensify the scene
  3. Prompt the reader to push forward

I’m proud to say that it’s the layout I’ve been following for the majority of my chapters so far, but the golden revelation for me was the section on prompts. Unfortunately, while I was aiming to push the reader forward, I found myself making one grievous mistake: ending the scene on a boring note such as having someone drive or walk away. Erm, not good.

So, a good portion of the week will be spent making my chapters end on a note that says to the reader, you must find out what happens next. :)

On another note, editing each chapter is posing a slight challenge because each chapter is written from the viewpoint of one of two main characters. That means I need to climb into a different character’s head and shake the previous one as I move from chapter to chapter. *sigh*

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