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:~: Friday, June 15, 2007 :~:

How I Learned to Love Editing

I'm editing. Again.

I have discovered that the editing process never ends -- I have an Editor Goddess who wants the book as perfect as possible, a trait I adore, and that means I do several rounds of edits before the final copy goes to the publisher. That's just the way it should be, I think.

Truth and Consequences saw a total of six rounds of edits.

I'm already working on my edits for my September and December releases. (And I have an idea of what my editor-requested changes will be for my 2008 releases).

That means I'm faced daily with the stupid mistakes I made that I didn't catch on mulitple readings/polishings. It kills me.

But there's a good side. Now that I've got edits under my belt on two books, I kinda/sorta know what not to do in my future books. I'm applying that to the WIP. I know my characters SMILE a lot. (They're a happy lot, obviously). I apparently love the word AGAIN. There's quite a bit of QUIRKING of EYEBROWS. I've learned that subtle action/reaction can work better than in-your-face internals (Joan is probably ready to slap me right now, as often as I wrote "need internals here" when I was critting something of hers). I've learned that when I write my working synopsis, I need to make a copy for me that includes a timeline -- which events happen on which day. And I need to refer to that while writing.

With the big picture revisions I'm making to HOL and HOTM based on my editor's suggestions (and I like how she suggests things -- it's not a "do this" -- it's "I see a problem with this" and I get to figure out how to fix that. I still maintain creative control to a point.), I'm learning to better move a story forward with the characters' emotions, so there's more of an arc rather than a continual push-pull that really just ends up in a circle.

So although I might groan when I send off a round of edits and get another one back almost immediately, I'm loving the editing process.

Because I'm loving the writer it's making me.

What lessons have made you a better writer?



Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Joan is probably ready to slap me right now, as often as I wrote "need internals here" when I was critting something of hers.

*ahem* Eli waves her hand and says, 'yoohoo? Over here too.'

ROFL. That's funny.

Isn't it amazing what you miss until someone else points it out?

Glad the edits are going well.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Hey, at least I'm owning those crits comments, right?! ROFL.

Oh, and I know as much as I've gone over this current MS with a fine-toothed comb, multiple times, looking for the echoes and stuff . . .

Anne will still find something. It's become my challenge, to send her the perfect manuscript . . .

9:59 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Hate to tell you, Lin, but there is no such thing as the perfect manuscript -- that's like the perfect house...it doesn't exist. There's too much opinion involved. But striving for a ms that needs no edits -- well...we won't go there. :-)

Honestly, as un-politically correct as it might be, I don't love edits. I've tried. I've had moments during edits when I can see the changes unfold before me and feel proud or excited about that, but overall, I really don't like edits.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Elisa said...

I don't love edits, either. Sometimes, when they're light, I can tolerate them, but most of the time I dread doing them and breathe a sigh of relief once I finish.

Damage Control took two very light sets of edits. I love those times. But Whose Afterlife has been the bane of my existence lately, going through two massive edits and a rewrite of the heroine's personality. I'm expecting more edits on that one sometime this week, and I'm already anxious.

3:55 AM  

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