So, what does the daily routine look like years into writing your first novel? (Besides going to and from the office, keeping up with family, chores around the house…)
I spent the winter and spring going through a hardcopy printout of the entire manuscript and making several hundred edits – everything from line edits to adding and taking away text.
This summer (and into the fall) I am rekeying the 5th draft. In April I set the edited hardcopy next to my PC, opened a new Word doc, and started typing. This is an important part of the process. The value of this is huge in that through rekeying you find more edits and you maintain (hopefully strengthen) the consistency of the text. It will not be the last time I rekey the book.
As I’m rekeying I think I’ve discovered something that you should know. Something I think you can use.
It is useful to look at the entire page at once, as a sort of whole, as a composition. It is useful to take this view and reconstruct the dialogue and action at that macro level. I have found that in the draft from which I’m rekeying, the elements are almost certainly out of order. At least they need to be moved around in some fashion in order to bring forward the punch the scene inherently carries.
It is a fact you can use no matter what you are writing – from a novel to signing a greeting card. The order in which the sentences appear on the page is not going to be right until they are all there. Order only comes within the context of the whole.