Editing Africa; I have over 67,000 words written and edited in my epic African tale. This hails from the 97 original posts I wrote over at A New Day. I have added a Table of Contents, Chapter headings and subheadings, plus done extensive edits on the many words that I first started to pen back in 2010.
And on this round of edits I am only on page 70. My page count suggests there are 270 pages, but I know that number will change the longer I fiddle with the story. I’m guessing there will be plenty more by the time I am done. For every paragraph I re-read, I seem to add nuances while taking away pieces that just don’t work anymore. All while I recite the story aloud over and over again. This is the process which helps the most.
As I read sentences aloud, I hear what sounds awkward or cumbersome. I am better able to recognize when I have used certain words too often per paragraph or repeated them too close together in a sentence. Sometimes you miss those faux pas in the first draft. And in the second. It is a process and I just keep editing. That’s all I can do.
For those unfamiliar with the tale, I travelled throughout Africa in 1995-96. At points I backpacked, hitchhiked, paddled and zipped along in a ’71 baby blue Kombi on a path which meandered as much as my mind. Upon my return, I started to recount the tale at various points with no success. It wasn’t until I started to retell the story in the pages of a blog that I found my stride. As I shared the tale, I had an audience enchanted with it, and it kept my words from floundering into oblivion. Once I gained that dedicated audience, I set a schedule to write an excerpt from my wanders once a week. And it worked. Blogging the story helped to finally see it to fruition.
The story is 100% true. It is a travel memoir that I am proud of and hope to see completed with the addition of pictures at some point. If I am lucky and persevere, perhaps a publisher will take the chance to put it into print one day for me too. And while I know that some can dash off a story in a short time period and edit it not long after that, I’m doing my best not to get discouraged by my long-term project. There are plenty of other authors who have toiled over their manuscripts far longer than I. At least that is what I like to tell myself. Editing Africa is my pet project and I guess I wouldn’t have the process go any other way.
So the question I put to YOU today is, who amongst you are willing to be beta-readers? Is there anyone up for a little read to see if the first 15-20 pages make you want to read further? 🙂