Monthly Archives: April 2011

Editing Sucks But Do It Anyway – Lessons learned along the way part 1.

So it’s been a long long time since posting anything on the old Blog. I’ve been busy with the novel. Very very busy. I’ve read some words of advice from somebody i don’t remember who basically said ‘set a quota of words for the day and stick to it’ so i’ve been doing that. At least 2000 words a day. Sometimes (well, more often than is probably healthy) i stretch that to 3000+ and once i posted up a 5000+ day but that was sort of insane. This has produced quite a good chunk of a novel if i do say so myself.

Not being a professional novelist (yet) i have graciously relied on my friends and family – one friend and one family – to read the output as it goes along to make sure i’m not way off track and to keep my head in the game. This has been working out really well for the most part except for the few occasions where i have been ordered back to the keyboard to produce more words in a day so that they can find out what is happening next.

The one problem i have, and that i am slowly learning to correct, is putting a level of polish on the chapters as they come out and before they get read. I hate hate hate reading something i’ve written that has already been read that could have been just a little better had i spent a little more time with the sander, buffing out the mistakes that could easily have been fixed.

Of course some things aren’t going to come out until the end when i spend an inordinate amount of time and ripped out frustrated hairs trying to get the whole damned thing into publishable form. That said i’ve been finding that if i simply spend a little time reading over and IMMEDIATELY CORRECTING some of the stuff i wrote the day before the process goes much better. In case you didn’t catch that: IMMEDIATELY CORRECTING. Because that’s the other thing i do. I might be in a hurry to get on to the next exciting part and i’ll reread something and make a little mental note to myself, something like: “ehn. that doesn’t really feel right. It needs some seasoning.” Or “gee i really need to expand on that when i rewrite.”

Nuh uh.

Do it NOW! Doing it later is all too often my excuse for not doing it at all. Sure it can be annoying when you’re itching for the next big thing in the plot, but you’ll feel much better about it when your family has looked it over. In fact, you’ll probably feel much better about the next big thing in the plot because you’ve gotten to it clean and neatly without a trail of poorly constructed sentences in your wake.

So that’s my big thing today. Hopefully i will have a few more lessons learned along the way that i can share as this project continues.

Categories: Fiction, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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