Monday, November 5, 2012

Editing Pitfall #2

So there I was happily editing along.  I was really cranking those pages out.  Change a word here, rephrase something there - no biggie. Except that's not what a rewrite is all about.  That, in fact, is a polish and should be done last.  But I was in my happy place and I totally missed the point where I knew there was something wrong - when in fact fixing the wrong is what this whole freaking process is all about.

Editing Pitfall #2 slapped me in the face this morning.

When you're so busy being busy that you ignore the problems you were supposed to fix - either intentionally or subconsciously.

Yep.  I did over 7000 words that are now only slightly different than the words I had there originally.  :headdesk:

I think part of this comes from not knowing exactly what the problem is.  I know there is a problem.  Finding it and fixing it?  Whole 'nother story.  Or maybe I'm just rationalizing.  Could be I skipped the whole damn thing because I'll need to do a boatload more work and the work I've already done will be wasted.  And in case you haven't noticed, I am profoundly lazy.

So, today, I'm going to start over.  Throw out the 7K... well, snip it and paste it into a new file anyway... and go back to square one.  And do so with my trusty notebook and red pen.  (:NOTE TO SELF: Buy more red pens. )

I'm not happy about it, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do if ya want a good story at the other end.  Know what I mean?  And personally-imposed deadlines be damned.  It'll get done when it gets done.  Dammit.

Your turn to fess up.  You ever get so wrapped up in your own story that you forget you were supposed to be editing it?  Or if not wrapped up, so scared of the work that you conveniently bypass the hard stuff to fix all the little details?


Silver James said...
*stares at "DEVIL"* *shudders* *nods* Yup. Been there. Done that. Will have to face the consequences sooner than later. At least you have a process that works, B.E. Use it. But before that, here's my advice. Put down the red pen. Start at the beginning. READ the damn thing. Read it like a reader. Start to finish, if you can. Were you drawn into the story? Did you finish it? If not, where did the story derail? THAT'S the point where you need to pull out your red pen and get to work.

That's my editing tip for today. ;) Now get to work. Me, too. I'm stalling, despite the 938 words written today. Still have many to go. *sigh*
Janet said...
This was my issue when I revised Lady Bells - Surface Revision, I call it! I wish I could offer some guidance, some pearl of wisdom, but I have nothing other than stick to it, B.E. - and go deep, go where you've never gone before :)

Casey L. Clark said...
Yeah... I just had that issue with my June WIP. By the time I was done with the draft and had a fat manuscript in my hand, I read it and realized that HUGE chunks of story (that I could've sworn I'd written) had not actually been place in the manuscript...yet. LOL Thus... massive edit... then re-edit... It's yet to see a polish. I love it, but I'm damn near sick to death of it! :)
alexia said...
I definitely have the same problem sometimes. It's easier to work on the minor stuff for sure. Good luck! I am working on edit #5 of Everdream, so I'm right there with ya.
B.E. Sanderson said...
Sorry 'Devil' is giving you fits, Silver. I don't know about my process. It only works if I get one of these damn things published. ;o)

Surface Revision is a great term, Janet! I will go deep and hope I don't drown. LOL

I hear ya on that, Casey. That's why I've been working on this on and off since '08.

Thanks, Alexia. Good luck on Everdream.

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