Editing the novel, part deux

I'm still editing my novel, and coming up with so many things that I have to do.  I have been using Holly Lisle's How to Revise Your Novel program (it's expensive - but it's probably cheaper than paying an editor, and you can use it for all your books).  Every week - or day, in my case - I've had to fill out worksheets or index cards.  But one thing I have learned with this:  If you break things down into manageable parts, it all comes clearer.

I'm plowing through my first draft.  To avoid getting hit by a copywriting suit, one of the first thing I did was look at what I had promised the reader.  There were so many characters, I realized, and so many things, that I would mention them once then drop them.  Or I would go into a great long description of a person, when they only had two lines and never appeared again.  Or this figamajig was described so much, that no one ever used it (i.e. Chekov's Gun).

At the same time while I'm doing this, I had someone read the first chapter of my book...and came up with the same thing.  "You mention Terry, but then she's not mentioned again." Or, "You mentioned the Solomonic robe, but he never puts it on."  And the biggest thing: I made assumptions that the reader knew about magic.  This reader knows NOTHING about magic (ceremonial magic, like Key of Solomon magic) and I didn't even explain it.  How could I bring the person into my world if I didn't explain it at all?

So here on Protag, or maybe on my blog, or maybe on googledocs, I have to sit down and do some descriptive detail of the kind of magic my MC uses.  It's Solomonic magic, in general, but without a lot of the trappings necessary (extra disciples, censers, swords, etc).  There's a lot of Wiccan influence (I was pagan at one time), and a lot of shortcuts.  That also means I have to go dig up my Lesser and Greater Key of Solomon and reread those - I haven't read those since I was a kid.  I breezed past this in the novel.

Now that I know what work I need to do, I need to let the muse stew on it a while.  I might take this program and use it for the first novel I wrote - the muse is hankering for me to tear that one apart because I've been thinking about the characters in it.

The End

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