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Do THIS before you edit your novel

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Hey writers, welcome back to my channel.


I am taking a bit of a break from the usual writing side, and I'm going to dig into the toolbox and look at some of my editing tools. So this week, I want to talk to you about how I'm editing a novel that I thought was done.


So what do you do when you think your story is done and it turns out it's not? I've gone to my old-time favourites through Story Grid and Abby Evans to figure this out, and funny enough, they have the same advice. So let's head to the page.


Both Story Grid and Abbie Emmons recommend writing a list that you don't start editing. You don't start rewriting until you've gone through your entire novel and written a list. Just now, I love me some list, so this is great for me. Still, every time I've tried to edit before, I just dove in, and this step I skipped and this step I think is critical is crucial, and it has made the editing process streamlined and exciting, and I'm thrilled to show it to you.


I'm going to show you my list, so this is. My novel, The Thing of the Stuff, which was finished for six months and went out to beta readers, prompted me to write the story that I'm currently writing in Patreon, a planned novel. This one was passed.


The problem with Pantsing is when you don't have a plan, and you know stuff goes awry. Luckily, I understood story enough that there wasn't that much, but some things were not significant. So I sat down and wrote a complete list through the entire book and wrote down a full list.


Next week I will show you how to action the list and what to do once you've done that, but right now, I'm just going to show you the list.


So here is my list.


So if you've watched my video on Marilyn Monroe, I've taken on her habit of making my little list numbers with random letters. I think it's enjoyable and. It just. It makes me feel very, UM., and I don't know. I love it.


U. (because why not) My scenes need to lead one into the next come.


There are a couple of moments, and I talked about this in a past video as well, but there are a couple of moments where it becomes very episodic, and I just then this happened and then and then and then and then and then and then.


And if you haven't seen that video yet, so giddy up because I need it to be because of that or until yeah, so. That was one thing, and that in the story grid, and we'll look at this next week as well as a bit of plus and minus symbol in the 4th Column of the story, Great, but if you can't wait till next week to see that one, there is a how-to outline your story. When I outlined my planned novel called Keyboard Warriors, which is currently up in patron, you can see my complete outline in Patreon.


So there needs to be a shift from negative to positive so the same as we have that plus-minus, it can't just go minus minus minus minus minus minus minus minus minus minus like.


It needs to have some good stuff happen. Otherwise, your reader gets tired. UM, so that's another thing, and that is another thing that the story grid very much emphasises.


x. I needed a little more foreshadowing.


So that the ending feels surprising but inevitable, I felt like I had foreshadowed it too much, but my beta readers have come back and said that they didn't see it coming. So I have been told that I tend to keep myself to myself. So try not to do that.


K. Little continuity with the Sailor's gender.


So my the thing this stuff is a gender. LGBTQIA+ story focuses on gender more than sexuality because it is a YA novel, and I don't think sex belongs.


This is a journey for Sailor, and it's a question that is going through their mind, and I often refer to them as she he or they at different points story, and sometimes I've called them the wrong pronoun when they're not at that stage of their journey yet, and that's confusing. So that's a line by line kind of note.


z. Too many characters.


I have too many characters, and yeah, that's a problem.


t. My build


Because I'm doing negative things, I hit the heightened tension of the climax too soon. And then when I hit the finale, it feels a little bit "I've seen it before," so I need to pull back a little bit on those negative moments.


One great thing that Sean says to do is that I haven't done it yet in my story grid. I might look at this after I do it, but he says if you've got 60 scenes. I think I have 70 locations from chapters.


Find your lowest amount, which is your thumb. The darkThe darkest or the night of the soul, or however you want to call, you'd that one. That's your negative 30 and then your uh-huh moment. Your victory at the end is your win-lose if you're doing a win-lose.


Yeah, I'm doing a Win-lose-lose.


Well, I'm so evil to my characters.


That's your plus 30. So you're negative 30 and your plus 30. And then you give very arbitrarily a number to every other scene. Where are they on that scale? If this is the absolute lowest they get, it is the absolute highest they get. Where are they on that scale? And that's something I need to be paying attention to as I go. But as I said, I want to make sure I get these other notes, but my list isn't completed yet. Now breaking down my thumb, my genres defined by story grid and dumb, I can see a little. The thing there about that I've got some obligatory scenes, so I've gone through and make sure I've got them all. There are a few that needs strengthening. Few that need a little bit better and then come.


k. My Viallain's motives


I had a villain who was my big glowing eye on the tower. This is a loaded the rest of Lord of the Rings mocking fantasy novel.


But I had all these other villains emerge, which is Lord of the Ringsiian (Tolkien, a total pantser.)


You don't want to miss next week's video where I take this list and apply it to a real scene, and I'm going to take you through what I do to do that with the story grid on the screen in front of me. It's a goodie. You don't want to miss it.

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