27 March 2017

Edits, Edits, Edits

I don't know if you knew this, but editing is hard. Even when it's easy, it's hard. Basically, editing can at times be easier but never actually easy. Editing never goes at the fast pace that writing can often go at. You know, when words are just flying onto the page. Rewriting and cutting goes at a much slower pace. And it's never as much fun.

Ok, for all this moping, I'm actually very glad to be in my editing cave right now. It means that I'm getting something done. I've temporarily abandoned Shiny New Story and while I occasionally drift into Sequel Land to write a quick little snippet (dammit, Adam! Stop letting Jordan take naps!), my main focus is on editing Uneven Lines. Woo hoo!

Chapter 6 was particularly tricky. It's a very complicated chapter. Getting it right was no easy task. I've actually always had this thought that I should cut the concept this chapter introduces because it was just too much. But I knew if I did that, basically the whole premise of the novel falls apart. I think I was just afraid of writing something controversial. But I guess the only thing worse would be to have a story be controversial and not commit to it. To try to water it down. If this is the story I'm telling, then I just need to go for it, and punch the reader in the face with it. Figuratively, of course.

So I just had to commit to it. For this particular chapter, that meant adding a lot. I ended up adding two whole pages when it was all done. It seems that most of the notes I write myself when taking the red pen to each chapter say something like, "MORE." Sometimes what's there just isn't enough. In this chapter I wrote a lot of "React!" notes because I didn't feel like Jordan was reacting enough to things that were being told to him. And this was some pretty heavy stuff that any normal person would have a rather large reaction to. Even if he wasn't openly reacting so the other character could see, there still needed to be a lot of thought process for the reader to see. I got a bit frustrated with it and wrote "REACT, DAMMIT!" when I had to make the same note several times.

So it was a lot of work. Cutting old stuff and adding new stuff and elaborating and rearranging. But eventually I got it done. At least I think I did. It seems done. I don't think I'll know for sure until I edit the next chapter. Then I thought I'd read through Chapters 5, 6, & 7 and make sure they all flow together nicely. These three chapters have a certain connection in regards to what is going on in the story, so in order for everything to make sense, they have to work together.

The good news is that I've already taken the red pen to Chapter 7. The bad news is that it's a much hotter mess than I thought it was. Observe the numerous markings:

A lot more "more"s to deal with. Oh well. All in a day's work, I suppose. Or several days. 


  1. You know the story, so it's a bit harder to think how a character would react the first time he heard something. Some people do react more internally than externally. Good luck with further edits.

  2. I working on edits/revisions too. It's a very slow process for me and I struggle with motivation...

  3. I cringe at the thought of editing, but I've learned to take it one step at a time. Good luck with yours!

  4. I like editing.
    If you're going for controversy, might as well go over the edge.

  5. I write similar things on my drafts when I'm editing. I read about other writers who write "too much" and have to pare down their drafts. I have the opposite problem. I always have to add more - more description, more reaction, more, more ... agh.
    Best wishes on your editing! It sounds like you are doing great with your story and character arcs.

  6. I like editing, but the hardest parts of revisions definitely is cutting out the old and adding in the knew. It takes time.

  7. So very, very true. I will sometimes take a break from my writing my current story to edit what I got printed out. I do find it invaluable to take these breaks because sometimes I find errors in the current non-printed stuff that was written differently previously. Nothing worse than writing something wrong for pages/chapters when it was done completely different earlier.

    I Are Writer!

  8. I'm stuck in my own editing h-e-double hockey stick, but with the IWSG pitch thing in July, at least I have a deadline. Without one, I might let this sucker languish for another year.