So, I’m behind. Again. After taking a long weekend off to deal with my personal affairs, I’ve put myself just about four days behind schedule and I can’t seem to catch myself back up!
I haven’t posted here lately because I’ve been so busy trying to get back on track with my editing, and in addition to that, I haven’t been able to keep up with my Triberr posts the last week or two either. (For that, I sincerely apologize to my tribemates! I wasn’t ignoring you on purpose!)
I am 4-5 days behind on my editing, but I’m really close to wrapping up the third draft! Basically just typing up my corrections from my print-out copy now.
It’s been pretty crazy around here the last couple weeks. This editing is kind of killing me. Because of how much I added during the first revision, the new draft took a lot longer to get through than I expected. Now I’m starting to wonder if some of it should be cut. I think most of the new scenes I added are important and need to stay, but as I was going through this revision, I started to debate whether it’s the story that’s slow in places, and not just my motivation that’s wavering.
With all the editing milestones I still want to accomplish, I’m also starting to question if I jumped the gun announcing a release date, though I did say tentative. At this rate, I may have to push it back by a week or two, but I’ll announce any changes to the dates later, when I’m positive they need to be changed.
Now I remember why editing is so painful
Not only do you have to cut beloved words, lines, and entire scenes from your book during the editing process, but you also have to do it over and over and over again! I thought I’d done most of the major surgery on this story during the first revision. I added 17,000 words. I added a few new chapters. I cut a few major scenes, and rewrote a few more.
But, after getting through the second revision, I realized – or rather, remembered – why writers go through so many revisions and versions of a book before we submit it or release it. There’s always a way to make it better. There’s always a better word, a better one-liner, a better way to structure a scene. As painful as it is, there’s always more to cut, too.
Every time I look at something I’ve written in the past, no matter how proud I was of the finished product when I first completed it, I can always come up with something to change. So, when it comes to editing, I can set all the milestones I want, but ultimately, I know it’s time to stop when I realize all I’m doing is moving commas around and changing “she’s” to “she has”, and sometimes back again.
I’m still shooting for March 19th, but in the coming weeks, I’ll keep you posted on my progress as to whether that’s still a reality.
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Carole Remy says
I was at a large conference once where a major novelist read from her latest book. Afterwards, an audience member asked how she knew when a book was finished. She laughed and said she had changed some words that day as she read from the published, award-winning novel.
At that point, I became less compulsive about knowing when to stop. You edit like mad to get the work to the best you can, and then let it go. Novels are like puppies — raise them right and trust that they’ll attract wonderful adoptive families. Otherwise you can break your heart with worrying.
I enjoy and have joined your blog. Hope you are having an awesome Thursday, and thank you for making the comment captcha easier to read!
Thanks for sharing! I’ve had that same experience–reading from a paper or a speech I wrote, and changing or rearranging my words as I went! I think it’s a compulsion for writers to feel like their work is never really finished, but I also agree you have to know when to let the books go and hope you did your job well.
I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the blog! Enjoy the rest of the weekend :)
Rinelle Grey says
I think I pushed my release date back about three times because editing took WAY longer than I expected. But I know I wouldn’t be where I am now (with a published book), if I hadn’t set that date, and done it publically. Good luck with the editing, you’ll get there eventually. (Though I’m not sure if it ever really feels like it’s finished.)
Rinelle, I completely agree about doing the deadlines publicly. It’s a little anti-procrastination trick I learned from Nanowrimo. If you don’t TELL people you’re doing it, you’re a lot more likely to give yourself more breaks and procrastinate more than you should. If you tell people about a project or a deadline, then you have the potential to take flack from them if you don’t live up to your goals!
As to editing, I’m about about 30-40% through my current revision and I’m still finding errors. Most of them are pretty minor–syntax and stylistic changes than major plot issues, which is a nice change–but it’s always frustrating to have read through the same material so many times and still find things to change! Comes with the writerly territory, I guess.
Our books are our babies, and as much as we want to see them grow up and flourish and make good choices, we can’t help seeing the flaws and trying to fix them–before anyone else notices them and teases them about it!
Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the well wishes! :)