Say it with me…I
OK, guys. Here’s the toughy…editing.
editing (she repeats in a firm, but encouraging tone)
Alright, writer pals. We’re getting there. Baby steps.
I just so happen to be one of those weirdos who doesn’t mind the editing process. (Notice I still didn’t say love.)
When it comes to a systematic approach, mega details, and cutthroat decisions devoid of emotion. Well…meet my dark side, folks! The editor.
On a less intense note, I see editing as something to cherish. Because at the end of the day, you just wrote a freaking book.
A novel is no joke, pumpkins.
The love, commitment, and devotion put writing a book on par with the most important people in your life. That book is the buddy you tell all of your secrets to, the lover you think about endlessly, and the spawn of your imagination.
It’s your soul in written form.
Man, oh man. There’s just something magical about seeing your first draft all printed out.
Sure, it looks like shit. But that shit is yours.
Currently, I’m working on my second draft of The Bra Game. In other words, I’m murdering my baby with a cheap red pen.
Now I don’t claim to be an expert, nor am I anything in the vicinity of a bestseller. In fact, I’m a self-taught writer who gets her jollies by bending the rules.
But, I do have three books under my belt, so I’ve learned a thing or two about editing.
Specifically, how to try to love it a little.
- Change location Rather than being chained to your desk with a sad face, take your printed baby outside. Fresh air will do your pasty ass some good.
- Check out some resources As writers, we will forever remain students. Recently, I picked up “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers“. Some parts boosted my confidence, while others slapped me on the wrist. But, it was all good. I learned some shit.
- Read it out loud For the sake of your loved ones, try to do this in private. But, do it. When it comes to the rhythm of your writing, especially dialogue, it is crucial to mouth off.
- Sporkforge Hey, what’d you just call me?! I stumbled across Sporkforge from another writing blog once. It’s ghetto as hell, but it’s a life saver. The word counter/text analyzer is a free online tool that dishes out your repetitious words and phrases. I’m sure there are fancier programs you can buy to do the job. But, Sporkforge is free for us poor indies.
- Use caution with find and replace One time I replaced “purse” with “handbag” throughout my entire fourth draft. Let’s just say, my editors and I had a good laugh over “handbagged her lips” instead of “pursed her lips”. Whoopsy!
- Marry it, then divorce it You will live with this story every day – you will get into spats and you will comfort each other. No matter how much energy you put into it, you will never be satisfied with the finished product. Never. So put your big boy or girl pants on, sign the divorce papers, and go your separate ways.
- Pat yourself on the back You wrote a damn book for crying out loud! Pat yourself real good.