Editing – When the real writing happens.

It’s Friday again!! It’s been difficult for me not to update everyone on my progress, but I promised myself I would do it at the end of the month. That way it doesn’t bore you to death after the fourth update just in January, and the progress will seem significant.  Okay, that part is for me.  Seeing those huge numbers I hope will help keep me on track.

So far, the scheduling thing is working out well. The posts have been coming to me and also after advice from a few friends out there, I’m staying flexible. As in not beating myself up if I don’t have both of the week’s post written the previous Sunday.

On to the topic. Edits. It’s what’s for dinner. Oh wait, that’s beef.  Actually it fits. Editing is the meat of a story. I know when I write the first draft of a story, most of the ideas are there, but it still needs more. It’s the lettuce and tomatoes, and possibly the potatoes of the dish, but a lot of the meat is still missing. Those bits of the story that the reader can just sink their teeth into and really feel satisfied after reading it. Okay, guess the diet is affecting me more than I thought! 🙂

Seriously, editing is hard work. And unless you’re just the rare person that can write a complete story without ever going back and adding or fixing or deleting, editing is where the real writing happens. At least for me, this is the phase where I’m fixing the timeline inconsistencies and adding more emotion. It’s finding just the right word to convey the feeling or scenery in just a way where you hook that person and make them see what you can see so easily in your mind.

When Love Waits is what I’m working on. My football story that i posted about last Friday. As I said, I’m determined to get this story out there because I think it’s good, goshdarnit! LOL It’s the second book I’ve sent to someone to read, but only the first that’s gone to someone who isn’t a writer. I am so grateful for my Beta reader because she found some inconsistencies that I couldn’t see because I’ve been IN the story for so long. There truly is a difference between having a writer read you work and having a reader read it. Both are invaluable when it comes to getting feedback, but they both catch something completely different and essential to the overall work.

The plan is to get this thing completely edited and back to my Beta reader before the end of March. I really want to see if she can connect to the changes I’ve made. I hear all the time, “You’re still editing?” I have to say, “Yes.” But, I do have a tendency to jump from one story to the other in order to give myself that distance and maybe see something when I go back to it that I would have missed the first time. Occasionally, I print out portions because after seeing it on the screen, I will still miss things and it takes seeing it in print for the little error to stand out. I hate to do it, but sometimes it’s necessary for me.

But at some point, a writer has to recognize when the editing has turned to nitpicking and that it’s time to stop and get the work out there. Editing is essential, until it starts dismantling the work from the inside out. I don’t want to fall into the trap of wanting to obtain the perfect piece because if I let that become my goal, I will never think anything is perfect and my novels will never have a life outside of my computer.

I hope this year will be the year I get at least one of my books out there whether it be through traditional publishing or self publishing. I’ve talked to people that have traveled all the routes or just one.  I haven’t decided which way I’m going yet, but first, I have to finish editing.

Melanie

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4 thoughts on “Editing – When the real writing happens.

    1. Hey, same conversation happened at our house!! lol.Now that he said go ahead and self-publish, I’m that much more worried about the edits. I’ll be the last one to see it before it goes out there into the world. Hopefully it’ll be up and available before the summer. Have to learn a whole new language – formatting. *sigh*

  1. I’m still learning my process but editing seems to be done in layers for me. Once the major plot points are structurally sound, I make a pass for dialogue, emotion, action, setting, and consistency. Then I usually print it out and make another pass or two or three, LOL. It is hard knowing when enough is enough. Good luck.

    1. I feel you. I still think most everything could use another pass or 15 before I send it somewhere. But like you said, you have to know when to let go. It will never be perfect and we have to be okay with that. 🙂

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