Friday, February 17, 2017

Editing

Hello all! I hope your week has been smashing! (Not literally. xD) Mine has been good! A bit busy, but that's nothing new. I was able to get the ARCs for "A Question of Honor" sent out yesterday, so that was awesome. 
This is a post I wrote a little while ago, and decided to go ahead and post today. Because . . . I'm about ready to tackle editing, so I needed a reminder. ;) 

Editing.

It’s something that I know most of us writers do not enjoy. It’s so much easier to write a scene and to be in the story with our character than it is to edit all those words we’ve somehow strung together on a page.
I’m one of these writers who likes to edit as I write. I just can’t stand to look back at what I’ve written and have it filled with mistakes that would only take a second to fix.
That being said, I’ve also written a novel during NaNo, where it was near impossible to edit as you write. I mean, you can fix a spelling real quick, but your novel is going to need tons of editing when you’re done. It’s kinda an inevitable hidden downfall of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. ;)

So I thought I’d share some tips that I’ve found useful for editing the first draft of your novel. Hopefully they can encourage you no matter where you may be in your editing!


(1.) Break it up into sections.

Looking at a whole novel that is riddled with mistakes and plot holes can be so intimidating. Trust me; I’ve been there, and I know! Breaking it up into manageable sections, 1-2 chapters a day, can really be helpful. And if you don’t divide into chapters when you write, then make a goal to work on two or three pages each day. It may seem like a small amount when you could be doing more, but it gives you manageable portions to work on.
Make a second document (word doc, Google doc, whatever you use) and copy and paste those three pages into it. You’ll have a clean sheet in front of you, and only a limited amount of words to work with. Instead of scrolling down and seeing all those mistakes, each day you’ll be filling more pages with edited words. And I know for me that’s a huge thing. And it makes me feel so much better about my story, and it’s so much easier to make the time to edit!

(2.) Get motivated

This can be hard. I am probably one of the least motivated people ever when it comes to editing. (You know that machine that you can stick your papers into and have them come out a perfect edited manuscript? Yeah, I’m going to invent it someday.) But, until then, it can be hard to keep with your project instead of starting a new story. Because, yeah, new stories are just so much easier and so much more fun to do!
Accountability plays a huge role in motivation! Having a writing friend who will commit to check up on you if a huge way to keep motivated.
Another way that works for me, but I’ll admit is kinda weird, is giving in and getting a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I’ll set it in front of me on the desk I normally use for writing, and I don’t
let myself read it till I’ve finished editing my manuscript, or edited half or it, or some such thing. It may seem silly, but it works for me!
Timers also work great. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes to start, and then work on nothing but editing for that time. Not only will you get your work done, putting on that timer helps rule out procrastination devices, such as pinterest. ;)

(3.) Pray

Yes, this probably should have been the first on the list. I know many times I tend to look at my writing as something that is separate from the rest of my life, and it can be something that I don’t pray about near as much as I should.
But as Christian writers, our faith needs to shine through in our writing. Writing is such a huge part of our life, and we need God’s guidance in this area as well as any other area in our lives.
Before you sit to edit, pray. Pray that God would show you what He wants to shine forth through your writing. And trust me, when you pray and ask God’s guidance, editing becomes a whole lot easier. Because now you’re excited to see what God will do and where He’ll take your story.

5 comments:

  1. I think #3 is the one I need most ... ;)

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  2. Excellent post, Jesseca. And I agree, editing smaller amounts is so much easier than a full novel. :)

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  3. Great post! Your comment on having another writer friend keep you accountable is a great one - blogging is really great for that too. Also, yes, prayer is definitely something I don't put enough of into my writing life. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  4. Love this! Totally end up lost when I try to edit anything huge that I write. Once I get my outlining done, editing is next

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  5. Thanks for this! I'm approaching the editing point in my novel, and I shall keep these in mind, especially the last.

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