A Glimpse into the Process for But a Pretty Bauble

Belated update? I did finally finish the last steps of But a Pretty Bauble this week. The second draft ending word count is just shy of 80k at 79,841.

In case you’re curious, besides a spell check in which I found some introduced errors as well as a few I just missed going through manually, my list included the following:
Note: These are small enough that they should not constitute spoilers, and it’s a glimpse into my process.

1. Clan not Tribe for the dragonkind
2. Hiba’s eyes
3. What is the side of power for the king?
4. How far is it to the mine?
5. Hiba needs to call her father the king sometimes
6. Make sure the dragonkind never use the term nomad for themselves.
7. Check the frequency of "then"
8. Verify no contractions in narrative?
9. Check for "was not"
10. Check for "had had"
11. Chairs in Kader’s study. Either at the desk or gone from the table.

This list came about because I noticed patterns in my fixes that I may not have been as aware of from the beginning.

Simple ones like 1,2,5,6, and 11 are often items where I started out one way and ended up deciding to make a change. Those I may jot down on the continuity sheet of my world building spreadsheet during writing, or they may be an unconscious change that I notice during the first edit pass. I added this sheet to my process because of my copyediting work as I would have to note down the discontinuities so I could get a preferred value and track whether I’d made the fix. However, that made so much sense and worked so well that I ended up applying it to my work as well.

For word frequency or things like 8, 10, and 11, what I’ll do is a search and replace with highlighted word for the offending item. Then I change the page size to 45% or lower…something that allows me to see frequency across a number of pages. When I find a cluster of the highlight marks, I flip back to readable with my cursor on that page and see what I want to do in context. Sometimes the frequency is appropriate after all, and globally changing anything just leads to jerky writing.

The contractions in the narrative decision was a toughie for me. Yes, I LITERALLY searched for a single quote mark through the whole document and wasn’t that fun. This was something I had never faced, or at least not in a long while, because I do use contractions in the narrative normally. However, something in this particular book called for a more formal style outside of dialogue. I won’t know if that was a good or bad call until I get feedback, but for right now, it’s what I went with.

And then the distance to the mine? That was pure idiocy. This idea came on me hard and fast, I rushed through the prep, and jumped into the writing like a thirsty nomad falls onto the sand before an oasis to cup some of the precious liquid between his hands. Some simple things, like recording the distance where I could find it and prevent continuity issues before they were born, got lost in the mad race to have this story take form beneath my flying fingers.

So, there’s a glimpse into my editing process. But I’ll tell you, the most important part of all is simple: Even after focusing so totally on this draft to get it edited by the deadline I had set, the story still resonates. That spark that drove it into my mind still lingers on the page…for me at least.


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2 Responses to A Glimpse into the Process for But a Pretty Bauble

  1. melinda_goodin says:

    Thank you for the insight into your process. I particularly liked the way your handled your word frequency concerns. *makes a note*

  2. marfisk says:

    Glad to help. That’s actually why I started this blog, because a friend wanted to see how I did it, but it’s hard to comment without spoilers. Today’s post just looked so bare though :).

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