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Editing

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Do you let anybody else read your work before you are finished editing?

I find it incredibly hard.  I always have found it difficult to let anybody read something I have written. My first job involved writing letters in my boss’s name, and getting him to sign them.  I used to be so nervous I was afraid to go into his office with the files. 

Even to this day, when I am preparing something, I do not like to people see the work-in-progress.  Whether it is a poem, or a Bible Study, I get nervous when I see someone else reading it.

I can sympathise with the woman who went and hid her manuscript in a locked box after submitting it to her publisher, because she was afraid that someone would break in and read it.  I really can understand that.

However, on a serious note, I think there is value in having somebody look at your work before you declare it finished.  Whether you are editing your own book, or submitting it to a professional editor, I think it is probably a good idea to get some ideas to work from first.

So what do you do?  Do you prefer to do it all yourself, or do you get input while you are still in the editing stage?

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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Editing

 

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NaNoEdMo

So you wrote a novel in November?  Now what?

You are editing it, right?

Then join us for National Novel Editing Month.  (NaNoEdMo)

Just as we spent 30 days writing 50,000 words last November, now we shall spend 50 hours editing them during March.  Usually I forget until it is already a week into March, and then just fail in an epic fashion.  But this year I am hoping to have some friends along for the ride.

Who’s with me?  Who is up for a bit of editing madness?

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Posted by on February 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Editing again

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am busy editing two of my old manuscripts with a view to making one, coherent, novel out of them. 

With this is mind, I have been reading the drafts again, and I must say I am surprised.  My draft from 2005, Only Tuesday, has some interesting moments and observations.  On the whole the writing style is rather amateurish, and it is full of one-liners and amusing observations that seem more about the narrator showing off than advancing the story.  However there is one very compelling character, and I am trying to figure out how to transplant her from the novel into my next one.  Apart from that, not much worth saving.  She gets all the best lines I think.

My second attempt, from 2006, was much better.  By a factor of 10 I would say.  Don’t get me wrong, I made the Devil do it, is still a very rough draft, and the writing style needs a lot of work; but I am not  embarrased by it, and actually look forward to finishing writing it so I can see how it ends.  I even found it amusing, and laughed out loud in places.

Lessons I have learned from this experience:

  1. Everything they say about your first novel being crap is true;
  2. Once you get the crap out of your system, it is actually easier to write;
  3. Leaving the novel(s) for three years gave me a new appreciation for how much good was actually hidden amongst the bad;
  4. Nothing is scarier than thinking “I wish I had written that,” and then realising you did.
  5. Don’t edit while you’re writing, because there is a lot I would have cut from the book, that I now think I can use with a little work.

So watch this space, and expect news about I made the Devil do it, but only on a Tuesday

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Posted by on February 6, 2010 in Novel

 

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2010 project

I have been trying to decide what to do this year.  I wanted to keep the momentum going on my novel, but I also realise that what I wrote last year is a pale shadow of what should be in the book.  More like a plot-line than an actual novel.

So I have decided to take a break for a while from last year’s project, and re-open an old one; or two.

I am taking the half-finished drafts of the novels I wrote in 2005 and 2006 and tieing them together into one.  I made the Devil do it, which I gave up in 2006 due to illness, is a fairly compelling story, and I liked where it was going.  Only Tuesday, which I gave up in 2005 due to boredom, is pretty crap, but it has a lot of good dialogue and a few workable characters.  I will be scrapping the plot (plot?  there was a plot?) and working the material into the 2006 one to make it more rounded, then finishing it this year hopefully.

And the plus side?  Both novels were typed, so I don’t have to re-type it from my handwritten journals like I would with my latest novels.  🙂

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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in Novel

 

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The great Edit

 So I suppose you think that the reason you haven’t heard anything from me for the last few weeks is because I have been frantically editing to try and make the March 31 deadline. 

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Uh… no.  Not actually.  In point of fact I have done about two hours of editing all month.  I have just been so busy with other annoying things, like my life.

cza1467lI have discovered something though.  Writing 50,000 by hand is tough, but rewarding.  Editing 50,000 words in a hand-written form is less rewarding.  It is almost impossible to edit a hand-written draft, and so the first step has to be to type the draft out.  This is quite painful, and theorectically should take about 50 hours.  50 hours!!!  Not cool.  So I need to seriously look at whether this handwriting thing is worth it next year. 

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2009 in Novel

 

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NaNoEdMo

nano_08_winner_viking_120x238Had it not been for NaNoWriMo, I know there is no way I would even have 50 words on my novel, let alone 50,000.  The pressure, and deadline, were definitely a strong factor in my finishing, not to mention the support of other writers.

Now that it is over, I am really struggling to edit.  I am struggling against inertia, fear, laziness, and I suppose a knowledge that there is loads of work still to be done.

So what I need is some more pressure.  

Enter NaNoEdMo. 

Just as we had National Novel Writing Month in November, we also have National Novel Editing Month in March.  A time for writers with an un-edited manuscript to log 50 hours of editing time in one month.

Which is fine so far, except that I thought it was in May.  Turns out I was wrong; it’s March – Which is 5 days old already.

Dare I try?  I think I better, otherwise this novel is just going to sit in card format for the next ten years, as I find any number of excuses to not write.  So here goes….

Hold the red pens!!!! I’m coming to edit.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2009 in Novel

 

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Edit update.

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I have been having a few queries about how the editing process is going on my latest book.  Okay, not really, but I have been asking myself that question a few times lately, so I suppose that counts.

I am still working through the cards, adding in a few scenes to tighten the flow, and taking out the bits that don’t work.  I think I am a little scared to start actually re-writing some of the scenes, because there are so many problems I still haven’t solved.

Writing is hard work, and you would think it would get easier once you had actually finished your first draft, but I think that is where the real work begins.  Every day I have new respect for professional authors who do this every day. 

On the plus side, I have been very productive with my short stories and poems.  I haven’t published anything for a while, but I am working on a few projects that I hope to un-veil soon.

Watch this space.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Novel

 

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