As I've approached the end, I've been jotting down notes to myself about things I need to fix, change, amplify, etc. during my first editing pass. Some of these are plot points that have evolved as the story unfolded. Some are characters that have changed as I've gotten to know them better. You know the kind of stuff I mean.
I've always considered myself to have a very orderly mind. This is the first time I've felt the need to write down a self-editing checklist, but 2017 was an ugly year for me, and I don't trust my memory. Looking over my list, I realize I'm much more scatter-brained than I give myself credit for. Just for laughs, I thought I'd share this part of my "process" with you. We might as well laugh together.
Here it is, in no particular order:
- Cut info dump in Chap. 1 and weave it into the rest of the chapter.
- Have Casey (heroine) tell Alec (hero) about Peter (former fiance) early on.
- Have Carolyn Chiang (mother of Alec's niece's best friend) tell Casey about Alec's financial success with book and TV appearances.
- Have Casey put on slippers or shoes when she goes downstairs to confront the villain.
- Reminder: she's a psychologist and tends to overthink things. Use it!
- Include ALL senses.
- Beef up details re: clothes and settings. It's cold out there. These people are not all naked all the time!
- Add emotion everywhere!
- Replace cliched body language descriptions with something more creative.
- Reconsider Fermin's comments and behaviors. (This is necessary because I didn't decide that he was going to be the ultimate villain until I was at least 2/3 of the way through the book.)
- Ditto for Maria. (See note above. I knew she was a part of the villain's plan, but not whether she was an actual co-conspirator, until quite late.)
- Increase the humor! (As I said, 2017 was not a funny year for me, so this book is lacking some of my trademark humor.)
- Copy and save good quotes to use later. (I hate going back through a manuscript, hunting for quotes to use in ads, etc.)
Does this garbled mess look familiar to anyone? It's okay to say no. I wouldn't claim it, either, if I didn't have to.