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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

About Editing

I have something about editing on my blog but thought I would also post it here. How do you edit? Do you edit as you go or after you've finished your novel? And do you edit on the computer or print out a hard copy?

I'm in the editing phase of my novel and would love to hear any tips from some of you great writers! Also if anyone knows of a professional editor, please pass along his or her name.


Beverly said...

In my first draft I just get the words down on paper and leave it. The next day I do a severe edit.
Before I take what I've written to my critique group I edit again, then after my critique group has seen it. These I do on my computer.
When the story is finished I print off a copy and do a final edit on the hard copy. I make the final changes and "put the copy to bed."

Shirley McCann said...

I never edit as I go. I'm too anxious to get the story down. For short stories, I usually just edit on the computer, but for longer works, I prefer hard copy too.

Beth said...

I remember a well-know author (I think it was Janet Evanovich) saying she "vomits" out the first draft. Not a pretty picture but that's basically what I do, too. If I stop to edit, it breaks my flow and I forget what I was going to write about. The bad thing about this process is exactly what I'm going through now--tons of editing at the end--and when you're talking 90,000 words it's daunting. Maybe I'll just hire someone! I have gone through the majority of it at least twice (some begining chapters have been edited ten times!) I seem to have a block on finishing the final chapters, which is really dumb.

Beth said...

I didn't proof that very well. I do know how to spell "beginning." Ugh.

RTHRBRTN said...

I usually know where my story is going. I get that down first. I'm not a person who lets the story and character take me where they want to go. The next time I begin to write, I read through what I wrote and change anything that doesn't track and continue. When I finish I read through and edit on the computer. Then I print out the article, edit again. Will sometimes ask another writer for a comment or critique. I then consider their opinions and edit again. I have a tendency to never finish. I always find something to change. At some point you have to quit and let it go.

Beth said...

Good advice, everyone. Pat, my husband thinks I'm "afraid" to finish. I'm not. I really want to but am driving myself mad by procrastinating. I heard another famous author say she still wants to edit after she sees her book on the shelves. That would be me, too. I could edit forever, I'm afraid. I like what you said. "...quit and let it go."

Palooski65 said...

I "sort of" edit as I go. Try to do a better attempt before submitting it to critique. I do find editing easier with hardcopy though--somehow, it just doesn't jump out at me from the computer like it does from the written page.

I really feel like I'm still learning so much that even my "final" edit needs redone several times.

I think Pat is right-on, though, when she says you need to "quit and let go" at some point. I'm still struggling with where that point is.