The Woes of Editing

Hello once again Readers!!! Happy Tuesday. I have to admit, I haven’t done much editing lately. Nor have I been on the blog. I even missed Six Sentence Sunday!

*Gasp*

I know, for shame. But I digress.

Like the quote? I read it on Pinterest and was like, “Yep. That’s totally me.” But not just in a scared-of-the-dark kind of way (which I totally am), but in a writing way as well.

How?

Well, I look at all my self-doubts as Monsters. They creep in while I’m trying to fall asleep and keep me hiding under my blankets, waiting for daybreak. Also, since I’m in the editing stage, all the worries of my script and issues that I thought I had resolved seem to surface and plague my confidence.

It’s a never-ending, sleepless cycle.

But  never fear! I have found a website called WriteOnCon. It’s for those who are looking for critique and advice on writing. Agents and Authors come together for workshops that are free. And as if the stars have aligned in my favor, I stumbled upon this one particular article that I could relate to at this time in my life. It has to do with editing and revising.

Ugh. I have a love/hate relationship with those two words. I think we all can agree on this: yes it’s fun to edit, but yes, it is also a grueling process.

So this particular author, Bret Ballou, talks about the hardships and how to overcome them while revising your work. I love feeling like I’m not alone. Knowing that, makes going through this process so much easier. Any who…

His ideas are simple and leave me thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” For instance, instead of simply deleting that entire chapter worth of blood, sweat, and tears, he creates a document called Graveyard where all that work goes. Safe and sound. I have to admit, I have deleted plenty without turning a blind eye. If it’s not good, it’s not good. Plain and simple. But if it’s an entire scene, I think it’s a good idea to keep it for a later date-like after you are published. It may be fun to release some of that material to show your readers where you had first seen the characters going.

He also talks about finding issues within your plot arc and then thinking, “Oh damn, now I need to re-write the whole thing.” I’ve hit this plateau with both of my novels. I finish it and then realize something small needs to change. But anything small is not really small inside of a novel. That small change has to be strewn throughout the entire manuscript, and that’s where you’re like, “Well damn. Now what.”

When I reach that point, I don’t throw in the towel. I realize that I need to go back through each chapter and make sure that, that tiny change is cohesive with the rest of the story. This is where having notes on your story helps because sometimes it’s hard to remember all the tiny details without having to read-thru the entire thing once again.

I must admit though, I don’t take notes as well as I should. I attempted a chapter-by-chapter synopsis and quit because it was boring and I could spend that time editing or writing instead. So I usually go off of my memory to find and fill the small changes throughout each chapter. Is this risky? Probably. But to each his own.

He also shares that when the words begin to grow bland and unreadable, try re-formating or changing the color in font. This will help break up the familiarity of your work and in turn make you feel as if you are reading something new. I haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t attest to it, but it makes sense.

He also says that if you have a kindle or e-reader, try uploading it onto it and having it read it out loud to you. Hearing it out loud helps. This, I can attest to, only I read it out loud to my bestie, Sonya. This helped us both with finishing up the revisions to our novels. You hear the weak spots and notice when the other is getting bored. I highly recommend finding a reading partner.

Just not my Bestie. She’s mine!

…yeah, so that about wraps it up lol. This article is great and I’m glad I read it. If you are near that stage, read it too. Trust me, going into the revision stage with a clear mind and confidence will help you get through it so much easier.

Now to leave you with a question…What stage are you at and how are you managing through it? Share your advice with us! The more the merrier!

Until tomorrow, Echelon out ♥

32 thoughts on “The Woes of Editing

    • I think each stage has it’s own unique problems. Free-writing has you stumped with what to do next. Editing has you staring at the same words over and over again, wishing that it would just clean itself.It’s all a pain that I gladly and gratefully take in.

    • I couldn’t agree more! I have Sonya to read out loud to, so it helps me hear things that my eyes don’t always catch. I haven’t reached that point yet though. I usually read to her after my first read-thru. So hopefully soon!

  1. I found that, with my first novel, when I converted it into Kindle format, all my tab spacing was off, which caused me to have to go back and change every paragraph indentation in the entire novel. However, this was great for my proofreading because it forced me to actually read the book again, not just skim it since I already knew the material anyway. I’ve deliberately done that with my next three novels as well. I like the graveyard idea, though, and will have to make a file specifically for that. Great thing to pass on, and good luck with the editing!

    • Don’t you hate it when the spacing gets messed up!? I don’t know how many times I had to fix my first. I learned the lesson the hard way. I haven’t actually put it on my Kindle. I just stick to reading it out loud to my friend. It helps me to hear the words after staring at them for so long. Let me know if you’re still interested in a review! I’m looking for a new read and think Out of Nowhere would be interesting!

      • Always looking for input and reviews. What format would you prefer?
        Funny how you mention reading aloud; many times when I’m putting a scene together, I find myself ‘acting out’ the lines to see what they sound like…
        Great blog, looking forward to more!

      • You know, that’s a good idea. I haven’t tried that yet. I just close my eyes and visualize the movements and gestures. Sometimes it works and others ehhh…lol.
        I can purchase it on my ereader. :) Gotta show support! I’ll read it and then send you the questions for the interview after posting the review if you want?

      • You have to do the voice acting alone in a quiet room, or your family will look at you weird! :-)
        Your plan to send questions, etc, sound great. I’ll wait to hear from you!

  2. Very interesting post. I’ve only just started my novel, but I’ve already edited a great deal. Editing can only make a story stronger.

  3. Some great points here; so many aspects when it comes to revising. Even before I start, I upload the MS onto an ereader, from where I make the initial chapter notes. Nicer to not be chained to the PC/laptop to do that. Then when I sit to edit, I already have the big inconsistencies listed. I’ve come to the point where I embrace editing, in that the bulk of the novel is already written. Revising doesn’t feel as tough on my brain somehow. :)

  4. The narrator in “zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance” calls his self-doubts of “ghosts”, so when his son comes and asks “dad, do ghosts exist?” he has a hard time answering that. I don’t even like the book, but your discussion on monsters reminded me of that.
    From posts to comments, I’ve been trying to edit and cut everything I write on the Web – I see it as a challenging exercise and twitter has been a great teacher. When it comes to books, though, it should certainly be a nightmare, or rather, a monster :)

  5. I have just added your book to my list to read. I hope you have a really good following on your book. I just put three of my books on Goodreads, but they have my books under Stephanie Hurt with a hypen. Not sure who that is but oh well. They are working on it.

    I know the feeling you explained. I did a couple of dances the first time I googled my name on Barnes and Noble and there I was.

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