You didn’t actually think I’d go this long without shoving snippets down your esophagus, did you?
Nahhh. You know me better than that.
(Note: At the end of this post, I’m giving away a free guide for conducting your own macro edit of a fiction book! It’s the plan I’m following, with a few MadiTips™ thrown in there.)
This Camp NaNo, I’m doing my first macro edit. It’s where you edit your novel on a “macro” level—plot and character as opposed to sentence structure.
For the first week, I did the first step of the macro edit: conducting a read-through of your book, just taking notes as you go on what you need to change.
I’ve written five novel drafts before, but now that I actually know a few things about the craft of writing, enjoy watching me flail around in uncharted waters of macro-editing, make a lot of stupid mistakes, and have the time of my life doing so because #writingundefeated.
Chapters Read: 3
Chapters Read Total: 3
Chapter 1’s snippet:
“No!” Tori grabs my clothing and curls her fist around it, bringing me closer to her face. “You listen to me, Ari Kireina.”
“Mhm.” I gently wiggle my fingers under hers and pry her hand off my gi. “I’m listening without the fist.”
Chapter 1’s wackiest notes:
- WHAT PURPOSE DOES SHE SERVE???
- Just check up on the archetypes, man. Milk ’em for all they’re worth!
Chapter 2’s snippet:
Graphic memories haunt the back of my mind. I know it all too well.
Chapter 2’s wackiest note:
- also I think his decision at the end is completely interrupted by new goal XD
Chapter 3’s snippet:
Hinoki backs me to a tree, then grasps my clothing and presses me against it. Gasping, he pulls a hand through his rain-soaked hair and softens his glare almost apologetically. “I thought you would surrender sooner.”
I pant for air and tremble with pain and the cold of an unusually cool rainstorm. “I didn’t think you had a fair fight in mind.”
“Then you know nothing about honor.” Hinoki almost pulls me away from the tree, but when I clasp a hand over the sword wound streaked down my arm to keep it from bleeding more, he presses me against the bark with extra force. “The look in your eyes tells me you’re not beaten.”
Chapter 3’s wackiest notes:
- WAY TOO MANY INJURIES YO. Lessen down on ’em. Also, KEEP A NOTE OF RUNNING INJURIES. That’ll be awesome, because you don’t need to keep adding new ones to demonstrate the violence of the fight; let their previous injuries catch up to them and MAKE THEIR LIVES HARDER.
- lol find out where Hinoki’s parents were born?
Chapters Read: 4
Chapters Read Total: 7
The goal tracker says April 3, but that’s only because I do all my writing stuff at nights, so I was working through the night on April 2 to 1 AM on the third, thus my work being counted as the next day’s stuff.
Chapter 4’s snippet:
The guard holding his two swords in front of Tori’s throat jerks his head to her. “The same for these two?”
Masatoshi glances over at my two kneeled teammates and shakes his head. “No. Execute them both.”
Tori’s eyes widen, and she hurls curses at the advisor until one of the doshin slaps her across her masked face.
Chapter 4’s wackiest note:
- lol mention how Ari’s hairstyle is bc shuriken hiding in hair in ch.4
Chapter 5’s snippet:
The two guards clang their sake flasks together. “To us,” my guard says. He takes a swig. “Yay us.”
Chapter 5’s wackiest notes:
- Norin should take Haduson’s place in the plot 😱😱😱
I’m so amazed that this chapter had no problems. It’s the only thing in the entire book that didn’t stink. 😂
Can you tell I’m excited about the first one? XD
Chapter 6 snippet:
I run my hands along the wall and cautiously peer around the corner of the open doorway to the arsenal room. Dread penetrates my body as I tear myself away from the scene and press myself against the wall, heart sledgehammering against my chest.
It’s the beautiful kunoichi woman I fought in the forest.
Chapter 6’s wackiest notes:
- this is a good scene of Ari’s key weaknesses, but make it more… sad? >:)
- I’ll have to work on making her a more relatable cinnamon roll earlier. XD
Chapter 7’s snippet:
I gasp as I glance up at him. His handsome western face strikes me as familiar, and my lips finally find his name. “Hinoki.”
“You.” Hinoki holds my arms and keeps me against the wall, and I know it’s useless to fight against strength I cannot match. He tosses a glance behind him just as Tori grabs one of the heavy iron folding tessen fans from the arsenal wall. Hinoki begins laughing. “You don’t even know how to use that.”
Tori glances down at the new weapon in her hand and looks back up at Hinoki with sparkling eyes that can only mean she’s sporting a smirk under that mask. “I know it’s heavy.”
Chapter 7’s wackiest note:
- We need to make it more awesome
Chapters Read: 2
Chapters Read Total: 9
Again, this is actually all for April 3. 😂 #midnightwriting
Chapter 8’s snippet:
I reach up and curl my hands around his wrists. “Stop—“
Hinoki drops a hand to his sheath and slides out his smaller sword. Right as he touches the tip to my chest, Tori slips her gloved hand over his mouth.
Chapter 8’s wackiest note:
- ughhh this scene is kind of unnecessary. Find a way to make it more pertinent? It’s only mentioned in Hinari’s dance.
Chapter 9’s snippet:
Crouching in front of me, Kazanawi tips my face up to look at him with a finger under my chin. When I turn my face away, he socks it again. “What were you thinking, choosing to fail Maruko like that? He is going to make an example out of you to the rest of us that failure is not an option.”
Chapter 9’s wackiest note:
Actually there was nothing wacky here. I was pretty serious most of the time.
Chapters Read: 8
Chapters Read Total: 17
Again, for April 4. XD
Chapter 10’s snippet:
The woman folds her arms. I can tell she’s scheming up another escape plan by the way she just looks at me.
Chapter 10’s wackiest note:
- oh my goodness, this is all so cute.
Chapter 11’s snippet:
Hinoki and I begin dancing while I begin shaking. I keep my eyes glued to his in terror, watching for any shift in his outward look that will give murderous intentions away. Is this it, then? Will it be a matter of minutes until he pushes a dagger through my waist he’s holding?
Chapter 11’s wackiest note:
- she just needs to be clever instead of being dragged into stuff.
Chapter 12’s snippet:
Chills runs up and down my spine again, and I fight to keep my heartbeat steady. The beautiful kunoichi warrior that has captivated the dreams of many nights is sleeping against my back.
I straighten a little to keep Ari from slipping off me. Then I lay my hand, still wet from the tears of her face, on her wrist to keep her stable.
She was beautiful, looking up at me in our waltz. I almost forgot how much I wanted to kill her in those few moments where it was just me and her.
Chapter 12’s wackiest note:
- This needs to be more of a catalyst to the plot. This needs to really make Ari realize that the antag force is TRYING TO KILL HER.
Chapter 13’s snippet:
By the time blood blinds my vision, Hinoki throws me to the floor, panting. Tears no longer run down his cheeks, but they glisten in his blazing dark eyes.
Chapter 13’s wackiest note:
- People really liked this
Chapter 14’s snippet:
Tears fill Kira’s dark eyes, but she blinks them back. “Oh.” She takes a step back, hesitating to leave. “I—“ She begins to cry as she turns around. “I’m sorry to bother you.”
She’s leaving. She’s giving up on me. I claw at Hinoki’s wrist, but he squeezes my throat tighter, and that’s when my screaming lungs decide they have finally had enough. I pass out and slump against him, sliding down his side to the floor.
Chapter 14’s wackiest note:
- Seishin was great in this one tho.
Chapter 15’s snippet:
“Today, you die.”
Chapter 15’s wackiest note:
- you need to mention that everyone is in the outside training yard otherwise they’d hear them fighting lol
Chapter 16’s snippet:
I hold out the sword’s hilt to her. “Let’s try again.”
Ari gasps for breath and looks up at me, her lips quivering in what must be fear but eyes burning with no doubt hatred and disgust. “So you can break my other elbow, too?”
Chapter 16’s wackiest notes:
- also Ari needs to be a little more clever please, or should we wait until after the midpoint to unleash the fullness of her awesomeness, with the skills for that awesomeness foreshadowed in the first half?
- Okay, this legit makes no sense at all. What are we trying to accomplish with their relationship here again? I definitely think we need to outline their romance or what points of their relationship we’re trying to establish, otherwise these just sound a lot like random filler scenes we’re using until other plot points. Which they are. lol.
- Actually idk if that’ll work or if that’s even
Chapter 16 was a little wacky.
Chapter 17’s snippet
I begin walking inside, feeling the hatred close off something in my heart toward Ari. I’ll find a way to make her next mission with the samurai here the worst one of her entire life.
Chapter 17’s wackiest notes:
- but make them the exact thingies more.
- WOW that Hinoki bipolar change… everyone was confused. There needs to be steady growth, climbing, change instead of switching back and worth with so many scene disasters like this. Their entire romance really just needs to be outlined. However the change may be fine as long as you give it PLENTY more foreshadowing.
- But if there’s any way to make it more awesome, make it more awesome.
Chapters Read: 8
Chapters Read Total: 25
Chapter 18’s snippet:
A downpour comes upon us just as soon Hinoki comes upon me, and an entire group of training students break up and part to let us through. As one of them backs up from Hinoki, he slides a katana out of their own sheath. He holds his sword out with the tips pointed to the mud below, blood dripping off one and rain dripping off both. A roar of thunder drowns out his words.
I’m finished. I’m so finished.
Chapter 18’s wackiest notes:
- lol, I think for the midpoint there should be like rivalry of who hates each other more and like the Boss Baby thing where they both have to work together or they’ll be stuck together forever and it’s like no!!
- Nobody likes Hinoki’s bipolar change at the Midpoint! He’s going one direction speedy fast and then ZOOM turns in another one!
Chapter 19’s snippet:
I can only breathe again when Hinoki pulls away to face the guard. “I just did.” Then he steps to the man and socks him in the mouth with a fury I’m not sure he’s even swung at me with. “If I see you again, I swear I will crack your head.”
The guard claps a hand over his mouth, grimacing. “I didn’t think she was really your wife, man.”
“Get a life.” Hinoki tightens his hold on my hand. “Or your own wife, one of the two. Preferably both.”
Chapter 19’s wackiest notes:
- Hinoki just kissed the person he hates sigh. Again, this needs more foreshadowing. This does change a lot for him, but it still needs to be foreshadowed.
- Wow, I just realized that if we outline Hinari’s romance, the book ends up being longer… >:) also don’t forget about theme
Chapter 20’s snippet:
I bury my face in the crutch of my elbow and cry. I hate Hinoki.
Chapter 20’s wackiest notes:
- He’s just scared to death of falling in love with Ari because he’ll marry her and DIE if he’s found out. But I need to make that obvious in the story hm
Chapter 21’s snippet:
“Breathing so fast. You aren’t having a heart attack, are you?”
I might have my heart attacked if I step into this room.
Chapter 21’s wackiest note:
- lol guniea pigs were not in Japan.
Who knew? Apparently not me.
Chapter 22’s snippet:
Hinoki doesn’t let me go. “I wanted to save you.” He hugs me tighter. “I would’ve come for you if I could.”
I hesitate before hugging him back. “Your—your job is to protect Tallinn. Not me.”
Chapter 22’s wackiest note:
- I feel like we should make it more awesome by smashing it with another one?
Chapter 23’s snippet:
I lean in closer to his shoulder and drop my voice. “I’m with Ajin’omoto. This—“ I inch the door open. “Is just between you and me.”
Chapter 23’s wackiest note:
- not really sure how vital this is and just doesn’t seem awesome enough.
Chapter 24’s snippet:
I stay still until I hear the sound of movement, and Hinoki touches my arm, dropping his head to my ear. “Find a window and draw the curtains.”
In the pitch-black darkness. Of course.
Chapter 24’s wackiest note:
- the entire BEM needs to be more epic / redone really. Just outline it analytically and it’ll be great.
Chapter 25’s snippet:
My chest sinks with heavy disappointment. What did I do to make me worth nothing to him again?
Chapter 25’s wackiest note:
- that pinch point was THE WORST. It needs to be a catalyst!! It’s so lame!!
- boooooring spice it up a bit with more tension or foreshadowing, will you?
Chapters Read: 0
Chapters Read Total: 25
How productive. 😀 XD I was having a rough day so I took the night off to pray and get an answer from God.
Chapters Read: 10
Chapters Read Total: 35—completed!
Chapter 26’s snippet:
He must feel my gaze up at him, for he stiffens. Whatever tension clenched between us tightens more. I can feel it.
And I hate it. It scares me.
Chapter 26’s wackiest note:
- HINOKI’S CHARACTER ARC IS SO FLIPPY FLOPPY.
Chapter 27’s snippet:
I swallow thickly and turn away from the room, catching up to the group with brisk strides. I’m worthless to God. He deemed that a long time to go.
Chapter 27’s wackiest note:
- it feels so hopeless now.
Chapter 28’s snippet:
I press my ear against the door, but Hinoki and Masatoshi speak muffled, whispered voices. I lean against it with more of my weight, hoping to catch a hint of anything they might be discussing.
When the screen door opens, I nearly fall through it and right into Hinoki’s chest.
Oops. I back up from him. “I wasn’t listening—“
Chapter 28’s wackiest note:
- I just feel like this isn’t awesome. And Hinoki goes kinda bipolar again.
Chapter 29’s snippet:
The look in Hinoki’s overflowing eyes turns vile.
Chapter 29’s wackiest note:
- sigh. This payoff is lame. REDO THE BEM DUDE
Chapter 30’s snippet:
Ari slips her hand into mine, gripping it with a trust I’ll soon break. I pull her up behind me, my heartbeat dying when she wraps her arms around my torso to hold on.
I rein our horse out of the stables and in the direction of the man who wants her most.
Chapter 30’s wackiest notes:
- It finally made sense of Hinoki’s actions.
- you need to display Hinoki’s niceness and awesomeness more. Like outline different little things he can do to display his awesome niceness. <3
Chapter 31’s snippet:
I look back at the children, living the joy of their salvation. Then I glance back at Christel with a stubborn gaze. Of course I’m still worthless to her Source. “Not Christ.”
Chapter 31’s wackiest notes:
- people are confused
- people love this
Chapter 32’s snippet:
Another young warrior pulls herself to her feet. “How dare you say that? He will hear you!”
Rasako hisses at the woman. “He hasn’t paid you a single coin he promised, has he?”
The woman sits down.
Chapter 32’s wackiest note:
- things are coming together now but I really think things should be foreshadowed more : )
Chapter 33’s snippet:
The moment my wrist snaps, pain streaks up my arm. Images of Hinoki flash before my eyes. He broke my elbow in the same way.
So why do I still wish he were here?
Chapter 33’s wackiest note:
- We need to dramatize that more.
Not that it’s wacky. I was mostly serious.
Chapter 34’s snippet:
Sataru practically growls. “Our parents made the biggest mistake of their lives to break Code. This is just the first step, man. You don’t realize it. If you and Kireina become husband and wife, they will kill you.”
Husband and wife… heat flushes through my face. “I wasn’t—I wasn’t thinking about marriage quite—okay, I was.”
Of course you weren’t.
Chapter 34’s wackiest note:
- I feel like, for the climactic moment to be really awesome, we need to dramatize the stakes more?? like Ari being worthless needs to be more heartbreaking. we need examples of her being worthless, like how she’s treated. some random guy throwing hot oil on her or something. She’s not self-diagnosing herself as worthless; her entire culture treats her as such.
I think I was being just a tad dramatic, but you get the idea.
Chapter 35’s snippet:
I dig my fingernails into my arms out of both fear and eagerness. I’m both scared and excited for the next time I’ll see Hinoki again.
Chapter 35’s wackiest notes:
- lol they need more recovery time. seriously.
- okay, the ending Christian-theme-wise is HORRIBLE. Gives readers the wrong idea, and it’s not Ari’s inciting event at all. You definitely to give much more of a hope or hint that God is the answer.
- also create better opening and ending lines XD
What lies ahead:
Next, I’ll be organizing all those notes I made into a revisions list.
Throughout the month, I’ll be working my way down the revisions list, outlining the changes that need to be made.
I bought all these amazing notepads for this stage. Just look at them! 😍 They’re the same kind I used when I was outlining and structuring before writing the fourth draft. I love them SO much. 😍
I’m begging to be pinned. Just hover over me!
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If you’re doing Camp NaNo, how was your first week?