Editing & Second Drafts

When I was writing the first draft for Lumineers/Solarpunk (what did I decide on calling it again), my thought process was, just get it done, you’ll edit everything afterwards. I was looking forward to the second draft because my expectation was that this was the easy part where I just fix everything, I realize now that it’s definitely not the case. I mean, I am fixing everything but editing is taking as much time as writing (well, probably less since I have a higher degree of concentration this time around) and isn’t the fun process I was hoping it to be.

I’m not saying it’s boring, or a slog, I suppose it is to a degree, but I still enjoy shaping this world, it’s just no as much rainbow & sunshine as I expected it to be.

It’s still a fun explorative process. Having finished the story and knowing where all the characters end up, it’s still cool to sort of shape these characters now in a better way to build up to the finale, and to shape this world more so into how it turns out instead of how I initially visualized it.

The most notable change to this world is the rise of a second magical aspect (fair warning, it’s not a rigid system, nor a hard science, more like a basic guideline). Before this was brought forth, we had Lumineers, and we had Semi-Automatons. The semi-automatons are completely gone, a lot of the mechanical and industrial aspects have more or less entirely vanished to be replaced entirely with a greener/nature-based system. The airships are plants, the Semi-Automatons are actually humans with a plant-gene mixed in called Endosymbionts/Greencells (thanks to r/fantasywriters for that suggestion) and greenhouses have entirely replaced those factories. Instead of engineers and mechanics you have horoculturists and scientist who mess around with plant DNA. So in this semi-advanced world, technology is reliant on these modified plants.

Incorporating this into the earlier product is cool in a way. See, the first part was written a lot better because at the time I was in a frequent rewrite or retool process, and writing quite a bit more slower before I decided to just go on with the story, so while it’s well written, the world is a bit more different. As I go on in the story, I imagine the quality will dip in terms of the writing, but the world will be more fleshed out and it’ll become more of a question of bringing the quality up to scratch.

Still, even in this early part, I’m making a lot of changes, I mean, just look:

And that’s just what fit in a screenshot.

In a way, I’m comforted that I’m making that much more progress. All the red? That’s everything that has changed. Whole pages rewritten, and often paragraphs are completely written, the words that are staying are rare but you can also see that the changes aren’t too too frequent right at the start, and some parts were changes because of the entirely different world build. Some have a completely different POV describing a scene, and some just have a scene extended.

I can’t imagine how many new words I’ve written but I can tell you that from the 1st Draft to the 2nd Draft, there’s only 1.2K added words from the original word count, so seeing all that red is actually reassuring that I’m making progress.

Right now, the goal with the second draft is ensuring consistency with the world & story and while I’m still fixing the quality, I won’t make that my priority until the third draft, and I imagine a fourth draft will be necessary to make a final pass through. I was hoping to finish this all earlier but it’s easy to get distracted with everything around me (fall games, new anime and TV season, LUKE CAGE WHICH WAS AMAZEBALLS AND I BINGED IN ONE DAY, school, work).

I think it’d be cool to one day have a quasi-writer’s log for a future project.

I’ve started jotting down random concepts I’d like to try one day, no hardline idea, just concepts I really want to do. Say Gundams, Power-School, Stuck in a Game World, Battle Royal. Just one word (or a couple more) that bring to mind genres that I’d love to tackle. When you finish one book, you get the idea that you can finish them all.

To finish this up, my deadline for the second draft (if not the 3rd & 4th) is the end of October. I want to start a new novel for NaNoWriMo (not a sequel, something completely new) and this year I’m intent on hitting 50K.


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