I finished the Red Edits! Phew!

Red edits

Actually, I finished last weekend, just before I went to London for a few days.

I had a list of specific things that needed to be done:

  1. A new prologue – this was the last thing to be completed, just today in fact, due to some inspiration while I was walking to work and hastily scribbled down between clients.
  2. A new epilogue – ish. It’s a page long at the moment, a first draft really, but adds some optimism to the story… I hope!
  3. Making the first eleven chapters more compelling – in the first draft my MC, Jo, has won a prestigious art award and a solo exhibition is part of the prize. This made for a lot of unnecessary explanation and boring conversations. In the red edits, she’s now just hosting her first exhibition, which makes it a lot cleaner. This meant, however, I had to search for all mentions of the award and delete it. I also squished a couple of repetitive scenes into one.
  4. Re-writing the last chapter so it mirrored part of the prologue – yes. And I think it works well.
  5. A whole new chapter just to break up two rather heavy conversations – just notes, really, at the moment. I’m hoping for inspiration soon!

As I said at the start, I went to London. As we walked down Oxford Street and turned towards Hyde Park, I realised I was taking the same route as Jo does in one of the chapters, and that I’d got a couple of fundamental things wrong (it had been a long time since I was there previously). One major thing was that in Hyde Park, she feels cut off from the rest of the city.

Peter in Hyde Park

As you can see from the photo, there are buildings – lots of them – in full view. As we walked further, I kept my eyes on the skyline and there were very few places where I couldn’t see any buildings. I changed the incorrect passages, so I won’t look silly when Londoners read my book.

So, now I’ve started on the Final Draft. This is where my method deviates from other writers. I have opened a new document and I shall be typing up the book from scratch. I find this gives me a better sense of the flow and the changes I still need to make, than by reading alone. I’m also able to add more words, this way – I’m hoping for 5000 extra, a target of 47k in total (but more would be nice!) in 30 days.

Have you ever spotted silly errors in books you’ve read, or written?

Do writers sometimes get your hometown wrong?

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30 thoughts on “I finished the Red Edits! Phew!”

  1. I spot silly errors in my drafts all the time – sometimes after having read a section many, many times! Or, my husband catches them when I read aloud. Reading aloud is the best editing process ever – it catches everything that doesn’t sound or flow right, doesn’t make sense, is repetitive or inconsitent or just plain silly! Your process is very unique! That’s why I never really listen to any writers who give advice to other writers that says, “you must do it tIhis way.” Some people write straight through from start to end and then edit. I write and then edit and then write and then go back a few chapters and edit. I have to feel solid and connected to what I’ve done before I can move on. I love your writing as you know, so just do what you do!

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  2. I like to visit places I include and really get the feel for them as well as the details. Great that you did it and great that you’ve accomplished so much on your ms. Congratulations.

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  3. Hi Annalisa – well done and am glad you were able to put a bit more reality into that section … makes sense doesn’t it – yet in the middle of the Park I guess she could easily feel miles away. So glad you’re well on the way to finishing your MS .. cheers Hilary

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  4. Congrats on the edits and for being able to visit a location and fact check it. Writing a fresh 80k or so, wow, that is dedication!

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  5. excellent progress and you have a plan to keep moving forward. I’ve been known to lose track of the name of a key person. That can get messy. And yes, I’ve seen errors from writers who’ve obviously never been to Philly or to the Dallas area. It can be funny.

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  6. Hooray for getting through those edits! My book takes place in NYC and every time I go there I try to walk around, make sure I’m not getting everything horribly wrong. I’m going back in August, actually and have a few places I’d like to revisit!

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  7. Congrats!

    I’m sure I’ve made errors like that. Hopefully between my memory and Google Earth, there weren’t many.

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  8. Congrats on your edits! I didn’t think about this before, but how much of our memories or knowledge of a place depends on our “emotional” memory? Maybe that’s why authors sometimes get place details slightly off now and then. Way to go on going the extra mile or so for research. 🙂

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  9. Hooray! Congrats on finishing that part of the process. And that’s so interesting about your walk making you realize something you had wrong. I can only imagine how many errors like that I’ve made with my Alaska stories. Google maps can only do so much.
    Good luck with the final draft!

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  10. Glad you got to walk the same route, being able to see things like that is the best sort of research and I’m sure the trip was fun too! Congratulations on getting those edits nailed.

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  11. Progress! Way to hit those goals! I can’t imagine rewriting the book from scratch like that, unless I needed to completely re-imagine it…which has happened. Keep at it!

    You know, I don’t think it’s possible to complete a work without leaving a few silly errors hanging around. Not unless you’ve got a team of 20 people scouring it for them, and even then…

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  12. Congrats on the productivity! I get weird things wrong all the time. The most egregious has been changing my character’s name. It was not a typo, mind you, but a total flip to a previous version of the name. *Eye roll*

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  13. Silly errors are my thing lol. My novella, If I Let You Go, is set in Surrey. I mention this early on. Then, throughout the book, the character talks about not wanting to leave London. I had a million beta readers on that book and nobody spotted it LOL!

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    1. Lol, no I didn’t spot that either. But usually, I get so deep into books I’m reading there would have to be some very glaring errors for me to notice. If it was set in Surrey, and you mentioned not wanting to leave Berlin, I might have spotted it 🙂

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