Before you move on to the next chapter, you should apply 5 indispensible checks to your text. Here is your checklist:
I have finished editing chapter 9. It is one of my favourite chapters as it is about a ball. I love balls, so I dedicated 24 pages to this glamorous event. When I was editing the chapter, I rewrote some of the dialogues to make them as sparkling as the ball room. More significantly, I had to exchange one of my minor characters. Such a change can be tricky.
When I reviewed chapter 8, I noticed with surprise that the chapter had only 8 pages. How did that come about? I read the text and noticed that a whole scene was missing. By missing, I don’t mean that it had been eliminated by The Evil Computer. The scene had never been written. Instead of the scene, there was a feeble sentence pretending to bridge the gap in the storyline.
Editing chapter 7 was about time. In the first draft, the chapter was too much crammed with events. All this happened in one afternoon:
- My heroine arrives in London after a nerve-racking experience in chapter 6.
- She meets people from a social group she had never encountered before.
- She has to act and make decisions about her life.
- She has to find a way to wriggle herself out off a crime she got caught up in.
With all these events pressed into a few hours, anyone reading chapter 7 would have felt like being hit by a train (if trains had existed in the Regency).
I had to tune the narrative pace.
Good news: I have finished chapter 6!
I had dreaded editing this chapter because I had to straighten out a peculiar flaw: babbling.
I had babbled for 3 pages about a real historical event. The problem was that the event had no impact on the story. So I had to cut a lot of text. Writers hate to do that.
However, for the benefit of the novel, I braved the task. I even enjoyed it when I noticed the result would be really good – once I had managed to handle the historic event properly.
I finished chapter 5 last month.
The main change – and what caused a lot of work – was inserting a scene I had cut out of chapter 4. It fits better into chapter 5.
Once you start working at a scene in detail, you find it lacking. So I wrote it again. And then again.
I almost forgot to let you know that I have finished editing chapter 4. If you were wondering if I am still working on my novel, I can proudly tell you ‘yes, I am’, and I am already shifting about parts of chapter 5, so celebrating the re-writing of chapter 4 had to be cancelled.
In hindsight, it is always distressing how long it takes to work through one chapter. It took me several weeks to edit chapter 4, which I would never admit if authors were not always and completely honest.
Neither will I tell more people than only a select few that the start of chapter 4 required special attention. The story has gained its full momentum by the end of chapter 3 (see here). It is now important to keep up the pace. What an author should not do under any circumstance is: stand in the way of further developments.
Imagine a dinner is coming up at which all your antagonistic characters will run into each other: Continue reading
I have finished editing my third chapter.
You may remember that Lady Lindford was pushing things on in the first chapter. As it turns out, she got her way most of the time. From a writing point of view, chapter 3 seems the right place to let someone enter the scene who is less inclined to dance to Lady Lindford’s tune.
My post “An Alarming Message (News about Chapter 1)” is already four months old. But I haven’t been idle: Besides having blogged enthusiastically on Regency Explorer, I have finished my second chapter. Here is an account about what happened at the writer’s desk.
In chapter 1, Lady Linfield was the leading character. She set out to arrange a marriage between her nephew Robert and a suitable bride. The Regency romance enthusiasts among us will quickly have figured out that Lady Linfield is not the heroine of the novel.
But who is?
I have finished rewriting the first chapter. Everyone knows how important the first chapter is. You can never be critical enough when reviewing it – and never work hard enough to make it shine.
Don’t tell anyone: