I have been editing my second novel, Quicksand. I originally drafted it during NaNoWriMo 2009, and I set it aside for quite a long time before looking at it. On the one hand, this was helpful because it gave me quite a lot of distance, so I was able to review it with fresh eyes and perhaps more impartiality. Some observations I have about my writing:
- I really need to work on pacing. I fly through scenes at breakneck speed with no leisurely look around.
- I’m equally ambiguous as to how much time has passed, and that might be confusing for the reader.
- I can write dialogue fairly well, but it tends to drive my stories, and perhaps I need to flesh out scenes around dialogue better, cf. first bullet point.
I downloaded a Mac writing program called Scrivener on a trial basis to see if it helps me with some of the weaknesses I need to shore up. I haven’t tried the program yet, but what I really like is that the 30-day trial is a true 30-day trial: if I use it tomorrow and then don’t open it again for a week, those two days count as two days, not seven. That’s pretty awesome of them. Most software trials have a clock running whether you use it each day of the trial or not. I also like the education discount they offer.
On a completely related note, editing is so so so much harder than writing a first draft. I want to tear out my hair and cry when I think about how much work I need to do on this draft. Another related observation: reading as much as I have over the past couple of years is really helping me figure out what I need to do better as a writer. Models are the best teachers.