So you know how if you go for days without sleep you start hallucinating? How your imagination plays tricks and you behave irrationally?
I am beginning to thing the same thing happens when you are at the late end of an editing marathon.
In October I did a READ AND NOTES toward editing Legacy.
But then I did NaNoWriMo so that doesn't count *cough *
In December I then IMPLEMENTED my November notes on Legacy for 2 weeks
THEN I got agent feedback and had to jump back to an Edit of the Garden Cozy (one week) (and sent it to a couple readers)
THEN I got back to editing Legacy and FINISHED (then sent it to a couple readers)
Just in time to get MORE feedback and do ANOTHER edit to the Garden Cozy...
Then in January I dived into Kahlotus Disposal Site (first read and notes, then edit)
… If I succeed... I will have done 6 rounds of edits on 3 books in 2 months + a bit of October...
Then, I am stubbornly determined to incorporate reader responses and do a polish so by mid February LEGACY is ready to Query... (with my fingers crossed deeply that my agent likes it so the querying isn't necessary) So yeah... That is a lot of editing before I get back to writing 'normally' again (end of Feb I will start my next Garden Mystery).
You might have some grasp why I am getting a little loopy... but I am also LEARNING. So maybe sharing THAT is preferable to sharing my insanity...
(I did this with Confluence 4 times... exactly this...)
Read it through in order... try for better words... fix errors... drop adverbs... 'is this necessary or not?' clean polish, rearrange...
There was NO REWRITING involved. I didn't get it. Like... I REALLY didn't get it.
My CURRENT view of Editing
Start with a big giant holistic thing... (did that the first week)
Make notes about what the big changes are, then MARK THEM (I put them into a chapter summary thing that basically has a one-line of each section, so I knew where I need to add)
NOTE: Adding a big plot point usually means adding 3 or 4 little lead up/planting RELATED mentions before you get to the actual SCENE... it is slow going.
I guess my point is NOW I make myself read the thing HOLISTICALLY and think about what the story is missing, and add THOSE things to the draft, then I go through and not only clean up, but write whole new sections.
I am TRYING to apply what Jan did with her edits, which included a synopsis level before the rewrite... write the synopsis, REWRITE the synopsis as you want your story, then apply THAT, but I can't seem to find the discipline to do it.
Now I am not so sophisticated at all this as the super analyzers I've seen—I respect this a lot—breaking it down into what every little piece is doing, identifying all the functions, but think I would just give up the writing completely if I had to think about it at that level. I am not a literary writer, and I think what a suspense writer is concerned with is tension and pace (along with character and plot, but ideally the first I've handled and the second I keep improving with what I am already doing)--the third edit would address those next points...
Results of so much editing:
* The Diet seems to have fled.
* The exercise routine is waiting patiently (I did use the elliptical, but only one day)
* While I bathed, it was only as an excuse to sit in the tub with my stuff...
* There might have been chocolate consumed.
* And rum.
That SAID, I am pleased with the progress. I totally need to rewrite the last two chapters, but I've made notes as to what goes in, so I think I can do this tonight.
So how do you all go about editing? A little at a time, or in insane marathons like this? Any tricks to make it easier?
Verbal Content by Hart Johnson
All book covers designed by Joris Ammerlaan especially for ME! (and if you want to send him some business, you can SEE how good he is, so just shout: I hope to publish traditionally, so may not get to use these, but for anyone self publishing or small indy publishing...)
This blog originally appeared at Confessions of a Watery Tart
If you see it elsewhere, fine, but please drop on in and say hi!
Ha! As of 1:30 last night... finished this round of editing! It needs another, but hopefully a couple changes and then a POLISH and we will call it good for now...