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Editing is such a...


I feel discouraged after hours of editing. I know I am making progress but it such doesn't look like it when I view my edits...

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Re: Editing is such a...


Maybe it's time to set it aside for a week/month. Fresh eyes works wonders ... and then it's all crap until you set it aside again, and see it with fresh eyes once more.






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Re: Editing is such a...


Play with your process. Maybe write one day, edit one day.

I usually edit as I write. Yes, I know, people say don't do that. What works for me is this:

I write a scene. I'm a little exhausted, so I go back over what I wrote. Edit a little. Smooth it. Then I get my creativity back and write the next 1,000 words or so.

Rinse, repeat.

When I do a final editing pass, reading the story out loud, the manuscript is already quite clean and editing isn't a huge hassle.

My formatting people are always amazed at the clean manuscripts I deliver. I don't pay them for editing. And no reader has complained - one has pointed out a stupid spelling error I made consistently in one book... will be fixed in a future edition.

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Re: Editing is such a...


The editing has mixed up my daily count on posts. So I am going to repost the NaNo at the end of the month with the subject line reading: There And Back Again - November 2016 then I'll start the reply with There And Back Again - December 2016. That will help when/if anyone wants to make a general comment, or make suggestions, or point out mistakes in my story by narrowing down the area to look for.

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Re: Editing is such a...


I like that plan. emoticon

What your story needs, however, is white space. It's very hard to read those blocks of text and follow dialogue embedded in them. You can do this to make it easier on your readers:

Start a new line every time someone speaks.

Start a new line when you shift to a different person.

Use indent at the beginning of a paragraph.

This improves readability a lot. There's a reason people do that when formatting a book. emoticon

I tried reading some of your story and just got bogged down trying to keep up with who was talking and who was seeing what...

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Re: Editing is such a...


I appreciate your help with this. I think that between NaNo and your encouragement I do have a chance at getting my story "out of my head." emoticon I don't know if it will help but the repost will be double spaced and have indents in them where I think a paragraph break should be.

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Sounds good!

And I'm quite willing to help you with that, too. emoticon

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Blessing in disguise! Today I caught two errors in my story, one in the story and one in the story bible, that would have been very embarrassing later on down the road.

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 emoticon

That's exactly what editing is for. Awesome.

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Surprize! The story has progressed far enough that I am starting to see distinct personality traits in some of the characters which mean's I had to edit some of their dialogue to reflect those traits that I can see now but which were hidden to me before I starting writing the story.

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Wonderful!

This is great progress. Characters do develop through the course of a story, and I'm glad you are starting to see how they are different and how they react differently to what happens.

And yeah, this is part of editing - but you're doing really well by fixing this right away. You'll save yourself a complete rewrite that way.

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Re: Editing is such a...


Firle: Maybe what I am doing could be classed as an ongoing rewrite. It feels weird to see the word count grow even though the December post hasn't changed for a couple of days now.

Jox: Setting my story aside is what I have done every time I have tried writing solo, with nobody watching. The results have almost always been abysmal when I do that. This time, I have everyone here watching so when I don't do something one of you can "nag me" about it and that keeps me going. emoticon

Tiny edits this morning (one of them was using the wrong name in a character dialogue!) before running out of time.

Last edited by Pastor Rick, 12/8/2016, 4:15 pm


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Re: Editing is such a...


PR: You were talking edits, so I was thinking the story was completed. It is sometimes helpful to set a work aside after its completion to get distance from it before reworking it. If it isn't a finished first draft, then I understand not walking away from it. I have a number of unfinished works because I walked away before the first draft was done.





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I understand Jox,

     Yeah, I am calling what I am doing as editing instead of rewriting. For me, a rewrite would mean major changes in a scene that has ramifications on the whole story line while editing, even if it does mean a few changes elsewhere, is less drastic but seems to be needed for the story to flow decently when I progress from one event to the next.

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Some people call it "rolling edit". Let me dig up an article by a very, very prolific and successful author about this method.

This is the best I can do for now. He used to have an entire blog post on this method, but it might have morphed into an ebook... anyway read the part on "cycling":

]Heinlein's Rules Chapter Six

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Heinlein's Rules! The man was, is, and always will be a legend. I don't think I will ever match his output and I know for a fact I will never achieve Dean Wesley Smith's output of 1000 words per hour but what is described by "cycling" is exactly what I have been doing for the last four days!

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See? emoticon

Many ways to create a story, but I do that cycling, too, and it really helps me turn out clean manuscripts. And it helps me avoid tedious hours of editing, except for two final passes. (One slow, careful readthrough, plus the last one where I read the story out loud.)

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Tedious process. Like a train wreck in some ways. The event occurs in mere seconds or minutes but getting the correct description can, and is, taking hours to do. In my stories case, it looks like the time it will take to read about what happens will take longer than the time it takes for the event to actually happen!

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That's okay.

That's why movies use slow motion for some things. emoticon

I'm editing and tweaking my dragon novella. Yes, it is a little tedious...

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Kick! I don't recall the number of times I have cycled through the story so far but it seems like each time I do there is some minor detail, or descriptive, or character dialogue change that is making the story feel "more alive" to me.

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Aewsome!

Because if you feel that way, your reader will feel that way.

 emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Bushwack!

When I first started on my story I started with James Logan because those thoughts were the first ones that popped into my head when the NaNo started.

Now, I am thinking his time in the observation room should have been placed as part of a larger picture. My vision is a formal meeting called by Captain Navarre and attended by Attache Church to celebrate the conclusion of the gravity tube mapping portion of the ship's mission.

Doing it that way allows me to introduce several characters and establish some of the details without having to hunt for a place to slid those details in.

This feels right but if I go with it then it means a major rewrite of the stories beginning and probably means rewriting other parts of the story as well.

And... if I keep doing edits like this then there is a chance I would never finish the story, I would just keep editing...

So I think what I need to do is keep going with the story and reserve ideas like this for after the initial story is finished. emoticon

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Some advice says to keep going. Pretend that the editing is done, and go on from there as though that is the direction you were headed in all along.

Maybe jot down reminders of what will need to be changed and what you have in your head, but don't go back and start from the beginning.


 emoticon






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The first chapter of a story needs to be exciting. It needs to grip a reader and get them interested.

I'm not sure a formal meeting will do that.

Another piece of advice I love is this: "Start the story where it starts." Not the lead-up. Not the prep work. Start it where it starts moving and where things are happening.

It always makes me think. emoticon

And Jox is right: Keep going! emoticon

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Revelation!

I created a character for the express purpose of killing him off as part of my "crisis/disaster scene." But his death turned out to be not so trivial since I had a dream about the character's sister last night! Now she has a place in the story and the results of that are still something I have not figured out yet.

Stories can get complicated when the tale is book length in size. Maybe that complexity is one of the reasons that stop some people from attempting something as big as a book?

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Love this. emoticon

It's something many authors experience - a tale starts to take on a life of its own, and new characters can pop up all the time.

Keeping those characters and their plot lines under some control is very important in a novel - and yes, that's what makes novel writing more complicated.

Short stories and novellas usually have only one major plot line, so they are easier in that respect. However, there is no room for any rambling, so you have to write a very tight story.

Every author has to figure out what works best for them (and yes, it can change.)

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Distraction! This morning I installed a new "grammar checker" on my computer which is proving to be both useful and distracting at the same time. It took me almost 3 hours to work through my November and December posts and make the corrections to grammar that the Language Tool program identified as either an error or potentially confusing in nature.

The corrections and thinking required to clarify potentially confusing sentence structures took me away from the story itself which is why I say editing can be a distraction.

I am taking a break to fix some coffee and clear my head from "editing mode" and get back to the story itself...

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Emotional experience!

     This morning I was trying to figure out just how to start on the "warp event" and I noticed a typo. So I pulled up my text file to make the correction and somehow Gerry and Cindy came alive for me, they did their duty as they were trained to do but dang it all, the emotions of what they had to be feeling suddenly hit me and I actually shed some tears as I edited the scene to try and show what they were feeling...

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If you feel for you characters, your readers will too.

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I hope so, I don't expect the first draft to be "marketable" even though I am doing everything I can think of to keep it grammatically correct and I am really trying to keep things in line with the overall story outline. Now if the characters will cooperate with my vision and don't get me too far off track maybe when I do the first major edit/rewrite others will be able to feel what I am feeling when the story is finished.
 emoticon

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