Monthly Archives: July 2005

Checking in from the Land of Edits

Long time no blog. Eh. That's typical for me. I will, however, try to be a tad better about it. Try being the operative word there.

So I'm in the middle of editing book number 4, A.K.A. Let's Dish. Edits are a scary process, because you realize just what garbage you wrote in your first draft. You realize that you called the same character by three different names, and forgot that character A already knew in chapter three what he "discovers" in chapter seven. But that's not really the scary part. Nope. Not even close.

The really scary bit is when you read a page and make no changes. When I actually like what I'm reading. That's when I really start to question myself. Madness? Oh yes, definitely.

I tend to gauge myself by a friend of mine, who, when editing a manuscript, tears the living heck out of it. Plot points change, the story changes, the characters change and refine. She might as well just start with a blank page and completely re-write the thing (which some people do, believe it or not). I tend to open the computer file from my first draft, save it as an edit file, and start chipping away; working with what I already have. My plot is pretty set in stone by then, the outcome mostly determined. Sure, a scene or two may change, get deleted, get added, but it is by and large the same book in general when I am finished editing as it was when I finished writing.

So who's right: my friend or me? The answer is not all that simple. As she is multi-published and I am, as of yet, not published at all, I would be inclined to say she is. However, I've already learned that the process is so individual for everyone that there is no right and wrong. Some writers have to plot out every nuance in detail before committing the first words to a page. Others, like me, just start typing and see what happens. Sometimes that's an ugly thing, but there are bits of mad genius in there, as well. Or at least I hope so.

So I try to ignore the little voice in my head that tells me I'm doing it wrong and just forge ahead. From what I've seen, I'm not doing too badly so far. Of course, tell me that when I've just finished a chapter and not torn it apart. I'll most likely tell you I'm a hack and will never find a publisher. But I keep at it. I guess that what makes the difference, in writing or editing, not the process.

I hope so, anyway.


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