19 April 2021

Editing Can Be Fun?

I can't believe I'm actually about to say this, but...I'm enjoying editing. 


Ok, ok, I know it sounds crazy. But there are two sides to editing. One is the grueling, staring at the screen, wincing at terrible sentences, have no idea how to fix anything side. The other side, the fun side, is when you DO figure things out, and things start to fall into place. And that feeling is amazing! 

I've certainly been on both sides while doing my "was" search. There have been plenty of spots in the manuscript where I just have to leave a note and say, I'll fix this later. But I think the more I get into it, the easier it is to figure out how to fix things. It's also easier to look at a particular paragraph or sentence and say to myself, you can fix this right now. Just take a second, don't just pass it by, and figure it out. 

For the most part during my was search, I've just been skimming, reading the sentences that actually have "was" in there. But when I hit Chapter 18, I started reading every part. Well, 18 is definitely my favorite chapter in the book, so I really couldn't help myself. I would fix the "was" moments along the way, but I was reading every word, getting sucked into the story. 

Seriously, whenever I am doubting this story and want nothing to do with it, just tell me to read Chapter 18. It always gets me back into it. 

When I got to the very end of the chapter, part of it just wasn't sitting right with me. It's a moment that's filled with a lot of emotion, and Jordan has just been hit with something that doesn't make any sense to him, but part of this moment didn't make any sense to me. I felt like I was forcing an idea and all of the parts around it didn't help to explain it. This idea *could* work, and I really liked the particular sentence that contained it (it also leads in to some stuff in the next chapter), but I need to fix things.

So, I got to editing. I cut some pointless dialogue, moved a sentence I really wanted to keep to a different spot. I added in a few sentences to make sense of what's going on in Jordan's mind, even if it's unclear to him. He's spitting out ideas because he doesn't know what's true anymore. I think it's ok for him to not know, but I had to make what he was thinking and saying at least make sense. Going back and forth between these ideas helped reach the conclusion that the originally out of place sentence came to. I liked this scene already, but these little changes really tightened it up.

It was just a few paragraphs, but I got to keep all of the best parts, cut the useless parts, and fix anything that seemed confusing. Usually you know when something isn't working, but when you actually figure out how to fix it, it's a very accomplished feeling. I just hope I can keep figuring out the rest of the book!


  1. I always love to edit. Glad you're discovering that you like it too.

  2. Well done!
    We won't let you forget about that chapter.

  3. I have to say- I'm not sure I'd have the patience to be an editor. I look at a few things I've written, re-written and re-re-written and how exhausting the process can be, never mind doing it over and over with the works of others.

  4. Isn't it the greatest when you take something that was bugging you and turn it in to something that works even better than you thought it would? I don't blame you for enjoying it!

  5. You have a good attitude towards editing. It can be difficult and stressful, but it's necessary work; I've read other stories where it's clear that the final draft needed more editing but it wasn't done for some reason. I once heard the writer Matthew Pearl speak and he said that he kept a file that he labeled "extras", where he put the lines that he'd edited from his drafts in case he could use them in a different story.

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