Thursday, March 4, 2010

Editing Fun

Ummm, where did Wednesday go? 

Okay, enough about missing days and silly cats.  Let's talk about something really exciting... EDITING!  Yay.  (Would you believe 'whoopee'?)

As you might be aware, I'm not a huge fan of editing.  Oh, don't get me wrong - especially if you're a potential agent - I have no problem doing the work to make my story shine.  I'd just rather be writing something new.  I finish a project and my brain says something to the effect of 'that one's done, what's next?'  Maybe that's why I have a few fully written but totally unpolished manuscripts laying around my harddrive.  I always want to drive on to the next project.

Anyway, I think I'm past any of the really deep edits.  What I'm doing now is:

- Proofing (I know I meant to type its, so why does the sentence say it's?)
- haggling over word choice (did that rat scuttle or skitter along the wall?)
- checking for clarity (in a conversation between more than two people, who the hell is talking at any given moment?)
- making sure every bit of world building, characterization and interpersonal relationships jives throughout.

So, this 4th day of a 31 day month, I've got a good start.  I already edited the first chapter, sent it off to a beta reader (against my previous promise to never send a part when the whole isn't done), and entered her suggestions.  (Thanks again, Nat.)  Chapter two is going a little slower - maybe because Chapter One has already been rewritten a bazillion times. 

Part of what's helping me with the edits - other than beta help, that is - is a series of posts over at Literary Rambles wherein Casey McCormick talks about omitting needless words and tightening your writing: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.  Other things that help are pieces of advice I've gotten over the years from my blog friends, writerly buddies and internet research. 

Like when Kristen Painter pointed out I was using the word 'it' too much.  Or how my old CP (may she rest wherever she disappeared to) had a penchant for highlighting every single adverb - most of which were totally unnecessary.  (Although the one time I used peremptorily gave us both a hearty laugh.)  Or how the gals over at edittorent continually post about how to make writing tighter and cleaner.

Needless to say, there's a lot of thoughts going on up there in my swiss-cheese head.  Add to all that the need to keep my own voice, and let's just say it makes editing fun.  Wheee.  It's definitely a tight-rope I'm walking.  But it's worth the work if I come out the other side with a manuscript that will finally snag me an agent.

Having said that, here's hoping I have a clean, tight, exciting manuscript at the end of this month.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  ;o)

What's on your plate lately?  Any editing tips, hints or links to share?  How about your own editing stories? 


  1. I'm buried in fresh writing, but I'd rather be editing. Does that count?

  2. You're welcome =) I enjoyed reading it!

    Sometimes, I think there are too many rules.... I also think that people try to follow them too closely. *shrugs* Im not saying you do that, lol I was just thinking.

    Good luck on editing!!!

  3. Trade ya, Kristen. ;o)

    Exactly, Natalie. And sometimes I have to watch I don't get too rule-bound with my writing. Never do this, always do that... Feh. Thanks.

  4. My editing tip: Check out the AutoCrit Editing Wizard. It is perfect for the stage you are at.

    It finds all those places where you need to tighten your words. It's awesome. I love it :-)

  5. I'm working on a first draft at the moment, although I did spend months last year editing, and re-editing.

  6. I hope the polishing and proofing is going well. Thank you for linking to me!