Editing never stops

I’ve decided to start on a re-edit of the beginning of my previous novel, rather than try and continue with the current one at the moment. Inspiration is still far away for that. I wonder if this is a form of procrastination?

At least I will be doing something constructive, and I’ve been growing increasingly uneasy about the beginning of the previous novel. It needs to start with more of a bang I think. I can’t think what possessed me to write a prologue. Well I can – I wanted to set the scene, provide the catalyst for the story. But set-up is set-up, and immediately slows the pace. And pace, it seems is everything. If the story doesn’t hurtle along to its conclusion, it won’t stand a chance. What I need to work out is, which bits of information given in the prologue, need to be inserted elsewhere in the narrative.

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4 responses to “Editing never stops

  1. A reader once told me quite curtly, I thought, that she never reads the prologue but always skips to chapter one. That made me sit up and take notice. Now I disguise my prologues as chapter one. As long as this ‘prologue’ is full of action and dialogue i.e. pacy, then it will work.
    I have just finished writing my current book and am now doing revision, rewriting and polishing. I always enjoy this bit.

  2. Oh I’ve tried disguising the prologue as chapter 1 but it doesn’t always work, especially if the prologue is too different from the main text.

  3. I can’t stand editing – just thought I’d say that!

    I faced a similar problem withpace in this book I’m currently rewriting. What I did was, took the exciting “event” around which the whole story hinges and whacked that in the very first page. It happened in chapter three before, but in the course of the rewrites, I put it at the beginning of chapter one, followed it with other exciting “important” events, then did a big retrospective second chapter on what happened before the event. I know that wouldn’t work for every story. It also took me ages before I felt the flow was right and comprehensible.

    To be honest, I get a bit annoyed about this trend nowadays for books to hurtle along at the pace of the Da Vinci Code. Look at a novel like Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I could rave endlessly about that book, it is so good, but it gets off to such a slow start. Nowadays, I bet publishers wouldn’t read past the first few sentences, which I think is a shame.

  4. It’s so annoying that such a dreadful book as the DVC sold in such shedloads. It really was appallingly written in every way except one – PTQ (page turning quality). That it seems trumps plot, which was risable, and characterisation, which was so wooden you could have reforested the Amazon basin with the resultant trees.

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