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Editing: Week 0

Howdy girls and boys, it's Friday once again.

I have decided to use the book The 90 Day Rewrite by Alan Watt that I won last year at my region's TGIO NaNo party to edit Om Nom Nombies.  Today's post is not a review of the book, I trust if you're interested in one of those that you know how to use a search engine.  And I'll be able to give a much better review of the book once I've used it.  No, today I'm covering the "pre-week" that I did this week.
The book is divided into 3 sections, the first covering some basics on stories before the book actually gets into the 90 day day-by-day section, specifically dilemmas, story structure, and technical matters.

Dilemmas are problems inherent to the story.  (The ones that are supposed to be there that your characters have to overcome.)  They're really important for traditional three-act stories because they're kind of the whole point.  The dilemma is a two-pronged problem composed of a strong desire combined with a false belief.  The protagonists undergo their transformation when they reject their false beliefs and re-evaluate their approaches to their desires.  When reading this section I kept thinking of Spitfire instead of Nombies, which I guess means I already know some things to work on when I get around to editing Spitfire.  Also, Nombies is an ensemble cast story with a few protagonists doing a stand-in for the traditional one, so some of the dilemma issues aren't quite as overt for them.

Story structure for this book follows the basic three-act structure.  (For other story structure options, check out this post.)  Here, I could think about the beats of Nombies as I read through the basic outline of the three-act structure, which was encouraging.  I may not have as much work to do on the structure as I thought, only tightening up the narrative and filling in the hole in the middle, getting my characters from point C to point D.

The technical matters discussed are just that.  Show vs. tell, adverbs, redundant characters, making randomly included information (like why running a mile is not - or is - a big deal to your character), etc.  I know I need to look out for adverbs and POV slips when editing, but I'm mostly worried about getting my story to hang together cohesively before I go picking out surface flaws like those.

Next week, I get to re-read the story and make an outline for the version-to-be.  Wish me luck!


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