06 March 2019

Random Editing

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


I'm really quite terrible keeping up with blogging lately. I've only done IWSG posts for months. I don't know, I think partly it's a motivation thing, or it's an idea thing (or lack thereof, I should say). I don't want to stop blogging but I don't feel that drive to do it like I used to. It could just be that I want to focus on my book and can't give my attention back to blogging until it's done. That sounds like the best reason, right? I'll go with that.

This month's optional question is: Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

This is actually a tricky question for me! Not because it's hard to choose, but because I don't really give myself a choice. I always write in first person, so I'm always writing from the point of view of the protagonist. And it's been quite a long time since I've written a story with a typical villain, too. So I guess I choose the protagonist because that's the character whose head I want to be in, because it's his/her story to tell. I'm sure writing villains is fun, but I just haven't come up with a story where I needed to write from that perspective.

On the other hand, Jordan is a bit of an antihero, I suppose, so maybe I get the best of both worlds. Or maybe I just like really flawed characters...

Every month I feel like I make just a little bit more progress to update on. Last month I was on Chapter 23 and this month I'm on...Chapter 24! I'm actually more than halfway through it, so it may even be done by the time you read this post (fingers crossed!).

I've recently realized that while I'm working a lot on the book and trying to finish it, what I'm really doing is revising. I've been calling it editing this whole time but I'm a big fat liar because I'M GOING TO HAVE TO GO BACK AND EDIT THIS THING WHEN I'M DONE. Ok, ok, it's not a HUGE project like this whole third draft has been. But I still need to go through and edit my overused words and whatnot. And let's not forget SHOW DON'T TELL. I have mixed feelings about that rule. Ok, so, Jordan thinks A LOT and over-analyzes everything, so yeah, there's a lot of telling. But I do need to make sure the spots that NEED to be showing are actually doing so.

But what I have been doing to kind of keep the daunting task of editing from being too scary is keeping track of the little things I think of along the way to go back and change. The random or weird things. The things I think back on wondering why the hell I did that.

So, of course, I've started a list! Which is equal parts useful and ridiculous. Hopefully some of these will make sense out of context, or at least be good for a chuckle:

Random Things to Edit

  • Find another word for “gorgeous” to describe Tom in Chapter One. We all know that’s Jordan’s word. 
  • Are we really supposed to believe that Tom whisks egg whites by hand for the soufflĂ© but then busts out a hand mixer to make cookies??
  • I think the “tell me you'd rather have just my lips” line in Chapter 22 would be more powerful if Tom just came out with it instead of Jordan asking it - shows desperation
  • Make sure Eric calls Jordan by his first name at least once and never by his last name
  • The “I think it’s just two” line in Chapter 7 is probably a hitting-the-reader-over-the-head-with-a-cast-iron-skillet kind of moment 
  • Possibly add more math stuff and also more cannibalistic undertones
  • Be consistent with Jordan's present tense thoughts--italicized or no? I’d rather have them not italicized even if that’s an editor’s nightmare but either way, make sure it’s consistent 
  • Make sure Brian's name is never typed as Brain...especially because he doesn't have one...

And that's it *so far*. I'm sure other ideas will hit me in the head as I go back through the story. That's after I finish the third draft. Which I'm still working on. And should probably get back to...

20 comments:

  1. Glad you're making progress. I'm looking to write more this next month and move me my story along too. Maybe just blogging once a month for awhile will work for you. With so many people not blogging, my own interest is lagging a bit too.

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  2. It seems a lot of people have cut back on blogging. I've cut back, too, but I'm not giving up on it. It's the only social media platform I use, other than Goodreads. :)

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  3. The whisk and mixer comment made me chuckle.
    That's why the IWSG posting is good. Keeps writers going with blogging without overwhelming.

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  4. I love how thought out you are being for your book. Especially the idea of "showing not telling" which is a bit complicated when it's a book rather than a piece of artwork or something like that.

    I ALWAYS struggle with word choice. There is always at least one word I am overusing and nothing else seems to fit quite as well. Hopefully you don't have my problem.

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  5. I went through that drive struggle with blogging. It started in 2017 and continued through to 2018, but I am getting back the motivation slowly, enough to plan to do three posts a month next year. I used to do three a week! Then dropped down to two last year and one this year, aside from occasional quests on my blog.

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  6. Hi, Sarah! Like you, I'm into flawed protagonists. I like your idea of an editing list which is something I haven't tried. The hand whisk/hand mixer comment made me laugh. I grew up using a handheld beater with a handle you had to turn vigorously ~ I'm totally into an electric hand mixer now. I haven't forgotten how tired my hand would get turning, turning, turning. Enjoy IWSG Day!

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  7. Wait, MORE cannibalistic undertones? Are you sure you're not writing a zombie novel? ;)

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  8. Sometimes with characters that overthink things, as a reader, I am more likely to forgive telling. Sometimes, I don't notice it is telling at all is the prose is pretty enough.

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  9. I heart flawed protagonists.

    Whenever I'm working through a round of edits/revisions, I always end up with an additional list of edits/revisions called something like "crap deemed too difficult and/or time-consuming to deal with the first time around." Overused words are always on that list, and in the fantasy novels, I have to write notes to myself about which characters call other characters what to make sure I'm consistent throughout. And even with that note, it's funny (sad?) how often I still miss things.

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  10. I've created a few of those lists. They're fun.

    Woot on making progress! I say being consumed with writing to the point that you're not blogging is a good thing. :)

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  11. The last item on your list cracked me up! Don't you love words that if you misspell them, Spellcheck will never see it? Good luck finding those overused words and passive passages.

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  12. Looks like you've got a great punch list! I hope it keeps you motivated and moving forward! @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  13. That's a good list, and a great idea to do while writing away. Good luck!

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  14. Hey, I can't say anything about your lack of blogging. If it weren't for the IWSG posts, I might never post anything. But my plan is to post more regularly now.

    But as long as you're spending the time writing, it all sounds good to me.

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  15. LOL at Brian/Brain. You write the way I do. Someone called it "circular writing" where you write, circle around back, fix, write more, circle around, etc. Hey, if it works, use it. Good luck with your story.

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  16. Possibly add more math stuff and also more cannibalistic undertones? Now there's a combination! I'd love to see how these two fit into your story someday.

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  17. I too am blogging less and less but I think it's because my motivation for blogging has changed and I'm working a lot more than I used to. Once a month sounds good to me. As for editing vs revising, I can't do them at the same time. I have to get the story done how I want it first and then go back to edit. In the end, every writer has to do what works for them.

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  18. This is such a great list! Have fun with your writing!

    www.ficklemillennial.blogspot.com

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