karensdifferentcorners

Treat everyday as a new adventure

Write, Edit, Revise

We have all faced problems of writing. We procrastinate, have writer’s block, and at times just not enough time in the day to write.

We also have come up with various ways to get us through these little mishaps.

We set timers and tell ourselves that we have to sit here and write for an hour.

When we hit a brick wall, we stumble through it or we go around, we work on a different chapter, a different story, or we just get up and walk away for a time, letting our thoughts wander hoping the solution to our dilemma will resolve itself, but what do you do when you are editing and revising, and you hit a brick wall or start procrastinating?

I have been editing and revising the first book in my series, “Chris’ Journey Turning Different Corners” again. (I haven’t hit a brick wall, but have been procrastinating.)  A story that I felt was done. I had even queried it, but recently opened it up on my computer to start formatting it to self publish and said, OMG, it’s really not ready at all. The story is there. The dialogue is there. Even the descriptions are there, but there can be more, well not more, but more detailed. There are parts that need to be there and yet need to be reworded. There are some he said/she said that need to come out. Basically it needs to be tightened up, tweaked, and polished. I want the reader to see what I see and to feel what I feel. To experience the emotions that I did as I wrote it. To laugh and cry right along with my heroine.

Do you procrastinate?

Do you have a way to keep you going in the right direction?

And when you finally do sit down to edit, what’s the first thing you look for?

You know the story is there. You know the dialogue is there and the basic description, but it’s just not quite right.

Do you break it down into sections?

Do you go line to line looking for mistakes, misspelled words, or words that make you go, Huh?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on how you go about editing and revising and what keeps you on task?

After writing this and publishing it, I came across another blog and see someone else has been doing the editing shuffle! Check it out here: http://ellamedler.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/anticlimax/

Happy Editing everyone! Have a great week!

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10 Comments

  1. I rewrite, reword, revise constantly. I write in scenes, so work on rework in scenes too. Great post!

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    • Thank you I do that all the way through as I’m writing, but find that even when I think it’s finished it’s still has more to do!

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  2. I find, when your eyes go square, you can print the ms (doesn’t work in e-form) and copy edit/check typos by shuffling the pages like a pack of cards and doing random pages until they’re all done. It keeps your mind from drifting (well, it does mine). Beware: this technique does NOT work if you’re checking for storyline/plot flow. : )

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    • I did that five months ago and then I let it sit, so when I opened it up again, I saw where there were parts that really didn’t need to be there to get my point across or other parts that just needed to be reworded to have the best impact, but for some reason I am having this procrastination issue. I’ll sit down and do a paragraph and then get up and walk away. Like you said in your post, it’s your baby and we want it to do good, so we nurture it and help it grow before we send it out into the world, but…Why am I procrastinating? 🙂

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      • Because you don’t have a deadline. You don’t have to rush if you don’t have a deadline. There’s no need to get organised and tidy up the last 2% until you know you have to. I have met some great friends on FB and it’s due to them that I finally pulled my finger out. Otherwise… it may have taken me another six months. They gave me a week. I did it, partly because I didn’t want to let them down. And I can be stubborn and obsessive at times… But I needed that deadline. Do you know them ? http://www.facebook.com/groups/356620871049132/

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      • That’s true, I don’t have a deadline from others, but I have my own deadline set up to have it published by the end of the month. For me I’ve been sitting on it way too long.
        And yes, I am part of that group! My poor family and friends have all been complaining they’ve been abandoned! In fact I got together with one fb friend on Saturday. We only see each other once a year and she told she felt I had abandoned her 😦 So I spent the better part of our meeting saying I’m sorry!

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  3. Great questions, Karen! Procrastinate? Constantly! But I have come to realize over the past three years that I just can’t force myself to write. It either works, or it doesn’t. Sometimes, I can sit for hours and work away happily. Others, I can’t even put a thought together. Apart from the usual things like plenty of coffee, a really comfortable place to work and a bit of pacing around, there are two activities that help me get inspiration.
    Number one is walking the dog on the beach. I do that twice a day, and that’s where I work out most of the plot development and some of the actual content, including dialogue. Clear air and beautiful surroundings usually mean clear head!
    Number two is having some key books to hand. These are novels that I have enjoyed, written by people that I admire. Dipping into one of those can bring a flash of inspiration with use of language or style of dialogue or whatever. A great unblocker of mental drains…
    Finally, my aim is to produce work which needs very little editing, straight out of the gate. This means that I write very slowly!

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    • Hi Stuart! Yeah I do the, get up and walk around, do the dishes (That works great for dialogue, by the way) Make the bed, take the dogs out, etc. And I tend to do some editing and revising as I go, in fact like I said I thought Chris’ Journey was done, even queried, but after letting it sit, I personally think it can be even better, so I’m editing and revising again, and procrastinating the whole way! :-))

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  4. I know what you mean, Stuarthaddon. I edit my writing until it shines before I go on to the next section. Still, the book I’ve published on Saturday is parts one and two of a previous work. I tried to pack too much into it and it showed. So I’ve cut it at a natural break point and developed what needed developing. There were limited sections that came out, but all in all I ended up with a full-length novel from just that. There are days when all I manage are 200-300 words, and days when I can churn out 6000. What’s the logic? I don’t know. And I use the ‘favourite book’ technique as well – ha ha… great minds really do think alike. Until last week I did a lot of beach walking with the dogs, too, but one of my fluffy babies is poorly right now, so we stick around home. : )

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    • Sorry to hear about your baby feeling poorly Ella. It’s so hard when they aren’t feeling well.
      I do wish the beach was closer for me, but even if it were most of the beaches here in So CA don’t allow dogs, sad to say. And walking them around the neighborhood is not a good idea because too many people here let their dogs run free.

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