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The Big One: Editing

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The Big One: Editing

Post  KayeM on Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:09 pm

So, I'm almost finished with the first draft of my novel. *dun-dun*

I know that the next step is editing, but I keep getting mixed signals on how it should be done. First of all, I'm still looking for a critique partner - which most people say should help out with this editing process - and second, I'm not really sure where to start.

I had the occasion to meet two authors (Sarah Beth Durst and Maryrose Wood) and when I asked both of them what to do when it came to editing, I got these very mystic responses:

"You'll know what needs to stay in, and what needs to come out,"

and "Yes! Editing is the best part! I love editing more than I love writing!"

Suspect

Thoughts?
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Re: The Big One: Editing

Post  Maggie on Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:32 pm

Eugh. I HATE editing Well, maybe not all the time... it really depends how much needs to be done.

Those are mystic responses. O_O

It's actually kinda perfect timing that you post this because yesterday and today were/are Ask-The-Editor with an editor, Alison Weiss, and I think someone asked your same question. Link=> [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

For me, I just take it from the top. I don't think there's really a formula or a set of rules to follow with editing, unless you can think of one yourself. I'll start at chapter 1 and read through, fixing everything and anything I find that I feel needs to be fixed story-wise and plot-wise.

Then I send it out to readers. My mom always reads for me, and she makes a pretty darn good editor, so she'll tell me my actual grammar and punctuation mistakes. (Which those are going down, thank goodness!). I also have other friends from here, Write On!, and we read for each other.

When I get it back it's my turn to fix up whatever they left notes on and such.

I never send first drafts to people though. I always want to see it first. Sometimes I'll have a subplot that I mentioned (i.e My MC, Sarah, might say she's going to dinner Friday. On my first read through I might notice I never had her go to dinner that Friday). When it gets to the point where I can't fix it any more by myself (or at least when it's time to stop obsessing) I'll send it to readers for fresh eyes. Usually one reader at a time.

WHEW.

I'm wondering if all that text was necessary. O_O

Well, hope it helps in any case...

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Re: The Big One: Editing

Post  serena423 on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:20 pm

Hi Kaye! Nice to meet you!

If you don't have any local critique/writer groups or crit partners already lined up, there's a site that I've been a part of for several years: Critique Circle. I think I learned more there than I did in my creative writing degree (sorry mom and dad). It's a friendly site with other (mostly) encouraging writers helping each other by critiquing stories, chapters, essays, etc.

It's a free site (unless you want to upgrade to premium to have a private queue), and you earn points toward posting your own stories by critiquing other people's. It's divided up by genre (General Fiction, Fantasy, SciFi, Romance, Children's/YA, etc). You don't have to download anything and the site's software is very user friendly. Plus, there's a great mix of writers at all different points in their careers--some writing their very first forays into fiction to multi-published authors, to editors, to slush readers, etc.


Smiles!
Lori
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Re: The Big One: Editing

Post  André on Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:06 pm

Because I listen to a lot of writing podcasts, I'd recommend listening to this episode: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] of Writing Excuses. They have other episodes on editing, too, if you feel like searching through the archives.

Basically, they talk about triage editing and shotgun editing, and I forget which is which, but basically how they'll go through and fix all the really major things first, then more specific things. Which is basically how I edit...by the time I'm finished a draft I know all the major problems that it has, so I'll go back and fix those. With the story I'm editing right now, I'm going through and fixing my characters in one draft, and then going through and fixing my worldbuilding in another...I'll probably send it out to beta readers at some point, but I'm hesitant to do so until I've fixed the things that I know are wrong. I'd rather not have people pointing out things I already know. ^_^

Good luck!
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Re: The Big One: Editing

Post  KayeM on Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:08 pm

Lizzy wrote:Eugh. I HATE editing Well, maybe not all the time... it really depends how much needs to be done.

Those are mystic responses. O_O

It's actually kinda perfect timing that you post this because yesterday and today were/are Ask-The-Editor with an editor, Alison Weiss, and I think someone asked your same question. Link=> [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

For me, I just take it from the top. I don't think there's really a formula or a set of rules to follow with editing, unless you can think of one yourself. I'll start at chapter 1 and read through, fixing everything and anything I find that I feel needs to be fixed story-wise and plot-wise.

Then I send it out to readers. My mom always reads for me, and she makes a pretty darn good editor, so she'll tell me my actual grammar and punctuation mistakes. (Which those are going down, thank goodness!). I also have other friends from here, Write On!, and we read for each other.

When I get it back it's my turn to fix up whatever they left notes on and such.

I never send first drafts to people though. I always want to see it first. Sometimes I'll have a subplot that I mentioned (i.e My MC, Sarah, might say she's going to dinner Friday. On my first read through I might notice I never had her go to dinner that Friday). When it gets to the point where I can't fix it any more by myself (or at least when it's time to stop obsessing) I'll send it to readers for fresh eyes. Usually one reader at a time.

WHEW.

I'm wondering if all that text was necessary. O_O

Well, hope it helps in any case...

Thanks, Lizzy! It really does. So far, my mom (yeah, moms are always the first pre-readers, aren't they?), my aunt and my grandmother have made up my pre-reading team, though all of them are getting a little lax in their grammatical rules *cough cough* old age *cough cough*.

I'll take your advice in mind when the time comes. Very Happy
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Re: The Big One: Editing

Post  KayeM on Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:09 pm

serena423 wrote:Hi Kaye! Nice to meet you!

If you don't have any local critique/writer groups or crit partners already lined up, there's a site that I've been a part of for several years: Critique Circle. I think I learned more there than I did in my creative writing degree (sorry mom and dad). It's a friendly site with other (mostly) encouraging writers helping each other by critiquing stories, chapters, essays, etc.

It's a free site (unless you want to upgrade to premium to have a private queue), and you earn points toward posting your own stories by critiquing other people's. It's divided up by genre (General Fiction, Fantasy, SciFi, Romance, Children's/YA, etc). You don't have to download anything and the site's software is very user friendly. Plus, there's a great mix of writers at all different points in their careers--some writing their very first forays into fiction to multi-published authors, to editors, to slush readers, etc.


Smiles!
Lori

Hey, nice to meet you too! And thanks so much for the site recommendation. I'll be sure to check it out. Smile
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Re: The Big One: Editing

Post  KayeM on Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:10 pm

André wrote:Because I listen to a lot of writing podcasts, I'd recommend listening to this episode: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] of Writing Excuses. They have other episodes on editing, too, if you feel like searching through the archives.

Basically, they talk about triage editing and shotgun editing, and I forget which is which, but basically how they'll go through and fix all the really major things first, then more specific things. Which is basically how I edit...by the time I'm finished a draft I know all the major problems that it has, so I'll go back and fix those. With the story I'm editing right now, I'm going through and fixing my characters in one draft, and then going through and fixing my worldbuilding in another...I'll probably send it out to beta readers at some point, but I'm hesitant to do so until I've fixed the things that I know are wrong. I'd rather not have people pointing out things I already know. ^_^

Good luck!

Thanks for the advice! I think I'm definitely going to have to go through it myself before I send it to anyone else.
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Re: The Big One: Editing

Post  Maggie on Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:54 pm

KayeM wrote:
Thanks, Lizzy! It really does. So far, my mom (yeah, moms are always the first pre-readers, aren't they?), my aunt and my grandmother have made up my pre-reading team, though all of them are getting a little lax in their grammatical rules *cough cough* old age *cough cough*.

I'll take your advice in mind when the time comes. Very Happy

Haha! Moms are good for that sort of thing. Very Happy LOL! Old age. I hope it helps. Editing is so not my thing, but I know just how important it is (obviously!). I've had to learn the hard way. Shocked

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