Friday, January 27, 2012

Random Thoughts on Editing

  • Editing is a much different process than I expected it to be. I guess I thought I'd just be able to jump to the sections that contained notes, do a few quick spruces and suddenly have a beautiful, perfect book that every agent and editor would be waiting to receive. But it turns out...
  • I have a lot more insecurities than even I realized. I can't just be happy with the fact that I wrote a book for a few days. Instead, I dove into editing right away and was suddenly plagued by doubts. Is my book really good enough to compete with every other urban fantasy book out there? Do the characters and the plot develop in an organic way? Is it bad that nothing ever seems to happen directly to my main character? In case you were wondering, I'm pretty sure the answer to the last question is yes, which means that...
  • "Rewrite" is not a dirty word. While I'm not rewriting the entire book per se, I am writing significant portions of it, far more than I expected. My first draft is, at this point, acting like the patches that will eventually be sewn into a quilt. I'll write a new scene, then find some old scenes that fit, but I'll rearrange them from the order in which they were initially written. All in all, the job is way more time-consuming than I expected it to be, so...
  • My goal of having my initial edits done by 1/31 is a pipe dream. I have to let it go now, and set the slightly more realistic goal of having the first round of edits done by 2/29, so I can start sending the drafts to the friends and family members who so wonderfully offered to read and critique it. I don't think this will cause a change in the rest of my timeline, but I'm trying to learn to be more flexible.

This doesn't change the fact that I plan on starting Defenders on 2/1, as well as some short story projects and contest submissions. I want to get back to writing 1000 words/day, whether that be Defenders, submissions for magazines, short stories, blog posts, television reviews, or whatever.

What's your favorite/least favorite thing about editing?

1 comment:

  1. I think my favorite part of editing, and this might be cheating a little bit, is that the book is over. Seriously, all those crazy plans and notes and mental lists that I built inside my head are finally down on paper. I'm terrible about note-taking on actual paper for my books, so it's nice to see everything all laid out. And naturally, the hardest part, after seeing it all laid out, is I don't always remember all the tweaks I made to my mental notes, so I feel like on one page I've written a character's eyes as green, and three chapters later they're blue, and those little things take me forever to pick out and fix. Tedious and exhausting, but also fun. It's fun to watch the rippling effect of an editing choice.