After completing Switchers. I’ve developed a solid process for writing a book. I write 75 pages (give or take), print it out, read it, make notes and corrections. Edits. Revisions. Then I move forward.
So when I say first round of edits equals 20% of the book is done, what I mean is that I’m about 20% of the way through the process.
Behind “The Process”: Breaking It Up (The Beginning)
I usually power through the beginning. I’ll write a bunch of crap to get into the story. Then I’ll literally cut the crap where the story should start.
From there I write my way into the story. And I write until I get into the rising action. Approximately 75 pages in, I feel the desperate need to reread–and make corrections along the way. It keeps the story fresh in my mind, but it also keeps the story from getting bloated or off track.
After a quick tightening up, I usually end up with closer to 100 pages of “finished” work.
Then I repeat the process until the story is over.
Then I get my editor to go over it. We talk about it. I look over his notes. Make the corrections I’m comfortable with (which is in the 90-something-% rate, because my editor is awesome), and keep what I feel needs to be there.
(NOTE: My next article should be about the writer/editor relationship…)