Where the Light Enters is my first novel. I wrote the first draft in November and now I’m in the midst of the first edit. I’ve read lots of advice on the process of editing and the structure of the task. I decided that the best structure for me is one scene per day. And I really work that scene from overall book structure right down to the word choice. It’s like being a scientist—I put the scene on a slide and mess with it through a microscope to see if I can get something to happen.
I ask myself a lot of questions as I peer through the microscope. Why does this scene really matter to the overall structure of the book? What information and ideas need to be conveyed that are critical to the story, and how can I convey them through action? What are the characters’ relationships and motivations, and why are they important? I like this intense dive into a 2-inch picture frame of the book. The idea is that when I edit that last scene the book will have been through five drafts one scene at a time.
The value of intensity, focus, and merciless reworking? (Hopefully) priceless.