So here’s what I’m looking at today, as I work on editing Seeing is Deceiving. You can click that to enlarge, although you may spoil yourself a teeny bit, just so you know.
That’s the structure I’ve been working with basically the entire time I’ve been writing this thing.
I tend to write fairly freeform with a bunch of scenes just one after the other. Somewhere along the line with this book (remember, it’s been… a long time) I started to organize it a bit. Partially that was for my own sanity to keep the whole thing in order. That led to dividing it into ‘parts’ and the prologue/epilogue bits. The parts aren’t likely to persist as you see here into the final manuscript, but were mostly for my own brain.
Vaguely/slightly spoiler-ish stuff below.
In broad terms the book’s in two parts: part one is pre-Comic Con, and part two is at Comic Con. That’s the overall structure.
However to keep me sane, I broke down the broad part two into sub-parts.
If you’re not aware, Comic-Con runs from Wednesday through Sunday in July, and that’s why the later parts go from 2 to 5, with a part 2.5 for some reason (I think I may have, somehow, forgotten to add Thursday on first draft??). Each part is a day.
Anyway, what you’re seeing here is editing-and-chaptering in progress.
Editing, for me, is mostly a proofreading exercise – trying to find the typos that a spellchecker won’t always catch, grammar, punctuation and fixing my own personal bugbears in writing, which are many and too OCD-ish to list.
It’s kind of rare I’ll make big changes to the text when I’m editing, but sometimes it happens. Usually any big changes have already been made before I get to this point, which some people think is Very Bad, but whatever, it works for me.
At the same time as going word by word I’m also trying to keep the overall ‘bigger picture’ of the book in my head, so for example trying to make sure there aren’t any loose ends, inconsistencies or major plot holes (oh, there are likely minor ones!). I also try to make sure character ‘voices’ don’t change radically over time, that sort of thing.
‘Chaptering’ is my own word for organizing the book into chapters. I tend to just write and not worry about the length of stuff, and then as I edit, find the natural chapter breaks and divide the book up. Generally I find chapter length doesn’t vary too much, except for when I have a transformation sequence or sex scene… and then things tend to run long. Sometimes really long!
Anyway, as you can see, not that far in. I’m motoring along towards the end of what will likely be Part I in the book, which is about 30K words. Rather crazily, that means there’s about 100K in Part II. Which in itself, is basically the size of your average novel.
I mean, a lot happens, you know. It gets complex. As my stuff tends to do. But there’s fun stuff in there! I mean [redacted] has a drunken seduction scene, it says right there in the outline if you want to go spoil yourself. That’s a good scene. And important for later in the book.
I’ve said too much! Back to the editing.
This is fascinating! I’m surprised your chapter breaks don’t line up exactly with your scenes, or at least 2/3 scenes per chapter. I’m obviously quite excited for the finished book, but I also kind of want to revisit this post once the book is out to see how things shape up. I would think chapter breaks would almost feel necessary when drafting something this long! Anyways, gratz on the novel, can’t wait to read it.
Thank you, Dani! My chapter breaks will line up with scenes, you’re just seeing this in full warts-and-all mode, with chapters forming from scenes. Often while writing I’ll feel that a scene is clearly an opening or closing to a chapter, and will make a note to come back to it, but while I’m in drafting mode I just tend to go scene-after-scene-after-scene.