In mid-November, second round editing for the novel retwin(n)ed began, concluded last Tuesday. Without break, round three started Wednesday. For reference purposes, I save a copy in a folder for each editing round.
Looking back at the initial entry, it’s interesting to see how writing evolves by the third edit.
Consider the opening paragraph from the initial entry:
Air rushes out of my fast constricting lungs, an involuntary exhale born from startled shock. Despite my increasing rate of breathing, I refuse to avert my eyes from the upsetting picture displayed before me, for the image makes no sense. The only reasonable explanation for what I see is my power exhalation depleted my lungs and deprived my brain of clear thinking oxygen. I am seeing things not real. That must be the reason.
And how it reads on third edit, with a drop of seven in the word count:
Air rushes into my expanding lungs, an involuntary inhale born from visual shock. Despite an alarming increase in my breathing rate, I stand unmoving, refusing to avert my eyes away from the deceiving picture splayed before me, for it makes no sense. How can it? Maybe the panic attack deprives my brain of clear thinking oxygen. Perhaps I see things not real or embellish the actual image.
Or these two paragraphs from Chapter Three, with a gain of six in the word count:
Three minutes of sneaker work places me in front of an older three-story brick structure. I catch myself smiling, thinking on the pedestrians that I just passed who did double takes. One even commented in passing. It seems I am not the only one who noticed I look like Bess. I might have a little initial fun with my mirroring looks, combining them with an unexpected arrival.
Three minutes of sneaker work places me in front of a revitalised three-story brick structure. The short walk proved an experience and leaves me smiling, what with the double takes of passing pedestrians; some remarked loud enough for me to hear. The remarks reaffirm my resemblance to Bess. Curiously, none mentioned my limp. Maybe I’ll have a little initial fun with our mirroring looks, and use my unexpected arrival to playful tactical advantage.
While the before and after messages convey the same information, the writing tightened up. Now imagine doing this across 350 pages of novel. In the initial writing, the intent is to scribe the idea, not worry over appearance. That comes in the editing.