Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been trying to “prepare” myself to jump back into editing on one of the stories I wrote last year. As it turns out, all I needed to do was invite people to read it to get my ass in gear on the editing!
The new editing project is officially on! I finally settled on which of last year’s stories to work on, and I went with scifi thriller instead of space opera. (You can read the full blurb about the story here.)
I’ve read through it again for the first time in nearly a year, and while it’s clear it needs work, I am pretty pleased with the shape it’s in. It’s got a few good plot lines that come full circle, a shit-ton of awesome characters, and the dialogue has some pretty sweet, smartass moments. It does have a few research issues, a few gaps in the plot, and some serious syntactical problems sprinkled throughout, but the nuts and bolts are all there.
In any case, it’s going to be a long journey, but I’m really looking forward to working through it.
In addition to posting a request here on the blog (did you notice my supercute scifi bookworm??), I posted a note on my personal Facebook page for my friends, not really expecting any responses, or at least no immediate responses. So, I was blown away when I got messages from two of my friends saying they’d love to take a look at the new project!
I made sure to finish reading the rough draft at least once through before sending it off, so I already know a few of the problems I need to work on going into the next round of editing. I’m a little nervous about what flaws and mistakes will be uncovered by my beta readers, but I’m going to do my best to handle the critiques like a pro.
It’s probably a good thing that I got such quick responses to look at the book. Even though I already sent it out to the readers without any real editing, I have to get moving if I want to have a new draft ready for round two of beta reading!
So far, I ran a spelling/grammar check in Word and got rid of the typos. I deleted a few sections I’d written and struck-through. I read the story start to finish and corrected a few things that needed fixing for legibility. Beyond that, I haven’t really gotten into it… yet.
The plan for the next round is to focus on filling in the gaps. I need to add some backstory for a few characters, and I need to fill in a few plot holes as well. The plot holes aren’t quite as bad as I was thinking they were, but the character development stuff really needs some work.
I’m going to do my best not to focus on rewriting or revising what is already there this time around. I think it’s more important right now to round the story out into a full, fluffy ball before I go shaving pieces off and clipping bits out.
The goal is to get a good start on it over the next two and a half months, pre-NaNoWriMo. I don’t have any
delusions expectations of finishing this round before then, but it’s possible. Especially since the focus is not really rewriting, it’s new writing – filling things in – and we know I’m a pretty speedy bullshitter typist when the creativity hits. At the very least, it’d be nice to go into Nano while I’m in between editing rounds on this project, rather than in the middle of one.
Since I’m still working on maintaining my blogs and redirecting some time and energy toward the new edit in progress, I haven’t gone back to my July Camp Nano writing project. Unfortunately, I’ve still got November on my mind, too. (“Unfortunately” because it’s cluttering up my brain and making me wish I was writing instead of editing!) November’s project is still too far away to think about in too much detail, but the story’s percolating, if only on the back burner for now.
If you want to get in on the beta reading process for the new book, I’m still taking requests! Take a look at the blurb, check out what type of feedback I’m looking for, and contact me if you’re interested.
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I tend to edit as I write, but am trying to get into the habit of pushing through and just spilling what is in my head onto the screen. Much of the time, I go back to edit, and it sounds and looks fine! A writing coach once told me never to edit as you write, because it’s a waste of time.
Have you ever edited someone else’s writing? I do that alot for my blog – I interview people about new beginnings and transitions – and find that it improves my own writing immensely :-)
Happy writing and editing!
PS This captcha is very hard to read, and when I enter it incorrectly twice by accident, it erased my comment both times :-( This may be deterring readers from commenting. I always copy my comment before hitting Post Comment to avoid these snafus. It’s a pain.
Thanks for suffering through the captcha! I’ve had some major issues with spam on this site, so I toughened up the spam guard, but I’ve had a few complaints about the captcha, so maybe it’s time to look for another one that can get the job done without frustrating the real people visiting the blog!
I don’t like to edit as I write at all. It’s too easy to get side-tracked. Occasionally, if I’m rereading the last couple paragraphs to start writing again, or just scrolling to where I left off and I catch something, I’ll fix it, but I try not to get caught up in it. The only time I really might get into it is if I decide to take the story in a completely new direction. I’ll go back and strike-through a few things as a reminder, but in general, I like to keep the writing and editing parts of the process as separate as possible so the creative part of me doesn’t get into a fistfight with the rational/OCD editor part!
I have edited other people’s writing in the past (not so much lately), but it’s mostly been articles and shorter pieces rather than a full-length piece of fiction. I really enjoy editing other people’s work because I love playing with the language, but I always have trouble sticking with it when it’s my own. It gets too monotonous reading the same stuff over and over. I’m going to try to schedule breaks into the process this time so I don’t get burned out.
Thanks again for sharing! (Sorry again for the captcha!)