Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Editing Evaluation

(and some elephants)

So it is probably a good time for me to fess up and admit where I am, which of my plans I've met and which I haven't, and how the process is going.

For the fill-in, for those who are new around here, I have a Cozy Mystery due to my EDITOR December 31, and my intention is to have it to my AGENT November 1 (so while she has it, I can WriMo—see how sneaksy I can be?) and then I will be able to address HER changes in December. But my INTENTION is to get an earlier draft done with enough time for peer readers to have it—in August *cough * Yeah. That happened.

But maybe instead I will give you the timeline and details of what DID happen.

Book: finished writing: August 3rd or so (on time, though I have added almost a full chapter and 13,000 words after the ending of that time) (A-) The additions are to be expected in editing.*

Finished TYPING: Oi, this is where I always underestimate: August 20, or thereabouts... I always think I am barely lagging, but the typing took WEEKS extra. (D)

First edit: (cleaning it so I can just read the darned thing) Finished around the end of August, because I couldn't DO part of it until I finished typing the darned thing... and then IT went slower than I hoped, but smoothly other than that (B)

READ through... this was intended to be JUST a read with maybe some note taking and no editing. (FAIL) I am thoroughly incapable of reading without editing, but I kept to the less major edit... other than the new ending... (F)

BIG edit: This actually has gone pretty darned smoothly—I really like the big twists I've added. I have a few of these on a sheet of paper that have yet to find homes, but most of them are IN and finding COMFORT and making the story better! (A-)

Next polish: this is my attempt to clean up the editing scars from my additions and changes, and to find homes for those last few points that I like so much. I am half way through. It is a cleaner read than last time and I can really see the progress I've made so it makes me happy, but MAN I'd like to be done so I can send it on! (B)

*A mystery, I find, is a trickier plotted animal than suspense, and so it actually made a lot of sense to finish the skeleton first and then add in some of the detail... trailing details... though I ALSO had at least half a dozen twists I'm really happy with that just didn't OCCUR to me until I'd finished and was trying to piece together such nonsense as the motivation.


Old Kitty said...

Awwwww you have more A's and B's so that's good!!! Yay for you!!! :-) Considering you have such a tight schedule I think you've done ever so well - editing and polishing for me are the worst time users so yay for you!!!

GOOD LUCK!! I'd give you more A++++!!!

I love the elephant pics...! take care

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I think you've done great! You're being a little hard on yourself. Typing does take a while when you're doing it all at one time and for 75,000 words.

Love the idea of the extra twists you wrote in!

M.J. Nicholls said...

One of these days someone will actually get to read a book of yours. These blogs are the longest commerical ever. Not complaining, you understand, just brimming with anticipatory glee. As you were.

Jessica Bell said...

Wow! What a process. Hello? Knock knock? Is Hart still alive?

SY said...

Good luck.. this is what I wish I was doing right now. Keep us updated!

Journaling Woman said...

What an accomplishment. I too can't just read my work without major editing...even when I slap my hand.


Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) said...

Ha! Another compulsive editor. I can't tell you how many times I get pulled into the safer polishing than the on-forwarding. Sounds like you're making substantial progress, though, which is all that really matters.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

YAY! ELEPHANTS! I love elephants so much! even have an elephant tatoo.
Coincidentally, i actually have a few elephant posts on my blog today as well. Weird.

Jennee said...

Wow, great process. I'm lagging with mine...but then again, I don't have a deadline for an editor or agent. You'll find a way!

KarenG said...

This is fun to see your editing progress. And whoever doesn't think writing is WORK, just reread this post! Love the elephants.

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you so much everyone!

Jenny-maybe more As and Bs but those couple fails are FAILS!

Elizabeth, thank you so much for the encouragement!

Mark *snort* I'm not even sure this will be your kind of thing, but hopefully SOON!

Jessica- yes. PROCESS. Ouch. But still breathing... usually.

SY--actually I wish I was doing it TOO right now (blasted day job)

Teresa-love the image of slapping your own hand. If I don't pick up a pen, I almost can't keep GOING because I need to mark the changes so bad.

Jan--Yes, what is the diagnosis- OCE?

Sarah--YAY for elephant synchronicity! (I love them, too, and they are the VERY favorite of two of my favorite people)

Jennee-I actually find this deadline thing is helping me stay on it--I'm going to instill them on myself from now on.

Karen-thank you! Definitely work--but work that is better than the day job.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Thanks for posting your process. I like your evaluation too!

Dawn said...

wow! That's intense. How do you do it all?!
I need to show my husband your post - he LOVES elephants :-) (And, plus, I can't show him mine. Something about Random Hot Guy gets his hackles up...)

MJenks said...

Maybe I should try something like know, grading myself on attaining my goals.

Perhaps--if I ever find a publisher/agent/editor--I will notion to my own works.

*slips out under the cover of darkness, giggling maniacally at the new idea*

Hart Johnson said...

Holly--Hey--keeps me honest! (mostly_

Dawn *snort* We can take turns on the hot guy thing... come to think of it, I haven't misbehaved in a while... I'm due... As to HOW--I neglect my home and family!

MJenks-no worries about stealing--I stole it from Jan (or I tried to--parts of Jan's plan are still shimmering in the distance as some strange hallucination. They won't take solid form for me (hello, triple synopsis eval of plot)--maybe next time...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Overall a B - that's not bad!

Dezz at Hollywood Spy would dig the elephants.

Katie Anderson said...

Editing always takes so much longer than you expect. Sigh.

Plus, I'm a new follower and I have to ask; do you really write books from your bathtub?

Helena said...

For a couple minutes I really got stuck on the photos of the darling baby elephants.

Oh please, you're doing great! The only writers who always stick to their schedules are hacks. And I'm so glad I'm not the only compulsive editor! That just shows you really care about your book.

Aleta said...

I'm impressed. All those edits and adding on and ... words.... cripes! I couldn't do it. You had excellent goals and you are doing great!

Lisa said...

I think you're doing great! (High fives the Tart for her forward motion while keeping her eyes averted from the ignored work in progress.)

Hart Johnson said...

But Alex-I want As!!!!

Katie-WELCOME! And yes... the bathtub is the only place in the house my family will leave me alone, so unless I am WriMoing, I write from the bathtub (longhand, pen and notebook)

Helena-yeah! Run with that! HAacks, the lot of them!

Aleta-on my suspense I am often having to TRIM at this point... though learning to write mystery may change that quite a bit--I like the more careful plotting.

*high fives Lisa* Back to work, sister!

I am excited because I am so EXCITED to get back to the editing--that is freaky for me...

Cold As Heaven said...

Do you have a waterproof lap top, so that you can do the typing in the bath tub too?

Cold As Heaven

Helena said...

I'm back for a second comment...

THANK YOU, you generous spirit, for recommending my blog to Ketutar. This is why your blog rocks so honkin' much: that GENEROSITY.

Love ya.

LTM said...

LOVE the baby elephants! And go you!!! What a lot of work you've been doing. Hope that rib's OK! ;p

I can't read without editing either. Perfectionist, Table 2~ ;p

Ellie said...

Wow, I love twists and I love how you wove us through your writing maze! Great elephant pics...I love how they are so playful~ I have just started reading and editing, everything is this some kind of sign. I don't do it so much in blog post, but when I read in mags, I rewrite the sentences, all the time. Ought oh....

I am proud of YOU, for pushing through! It takes Grit~ xXx

Hart Johnson said...

CaH--wouldn'tTHAT be great!? But then I'd be tempted to blog or Facebook in the tub and may not get any writing done.

Helena-Hey-your blog just matches PERFECTLY to what she blogged about yesterday! It was a natural!

Leigh--rib seems HEALED! And I am back to editing with the big girls!

Ellie-I sort of JUDGE when i read magazines (or other books) but I don't very often edit unless I've been asked to... Thank you!