I am currently editing the first book of my soon – to – be – ex – trilogy.  It has been a long time in the writing and although I had a problem with the editing phase originally, I feel I am at a stage with the book where I am happy with the editing and it is just now tinkering with it.

I wrote the trilogy in 2008, starting out with SoCNoC in June and continued on to finish the last book in December of the same year.  Last year was spent editing, cutting, asking people for advice, ARGUING with them about that advice before I have finally reached a point where I see their point of view and appreciate what they have told me.  And my writing has improved.

I have cut out rather a crucial scene in the first book, only because it didn’t really fit.  I debated with several people over what is considered evil, and I didn’t believe I could write evil enough.  Turns out I can’t!  Not that that is a bad thing, in fact, when I do write evil now, I know that there is a sense of sinisterism with it.  A sense of impending doom and hatred, which is what I wanted in the first place!  Having some silly scene that totally went against that opened my eyes and so the scene, and all references to it have been deleted.  Imagine my surprise when I realised that this opened up other possibilities, an entirely new scenario, a new entrance for the bad guy… Mmmm, delicious!

Editing used to be something I really hated, but my writing has reached a point where I still don’t like it, but it isn’t a tedium that it used to be, in fact, it is what I consider, polishing off the already good stuff that is there, and removing the dirt and grime that is really muddying up the story in the first place.

A funny thing happened while I was editing…
Tagged on:         

25 thoughts on “A funny thing happened while I was editing…

  • February 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm
    Permalink

    Editing can be quite exciting, finding new ways to do things, better ways! So nice when you can look back and realize just how much you’ve grown in your writing 🙂

    Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 10:55 am
    Permalink

    I agree with JC on that. Editing is actually fun, and gives me a chance to do something a little different with my work or new altogether. Problems that arise, for example I have written three different openings for my new book and have been debating which one would be best suited for the story, mainly turn out for the best.

    Reply
    • February 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm
      Permalink

      3 different openings? have you picked one out yet?

      Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 11:04 am
    Permalink

    Yip, this time around I am really getting into it, and taking on board all that was told to me last year… Yip, slow learner.

    I have just edited a scene where there was so much trash in it! I can’t believe I wrote a whole paragraph, but managed to condense it down to a couple of sentences that sounded much more interesting. As I said, I did write this one two years ago, my writing has improved since then!

    I wonder how many authors out there notice a difference in their writing from the time they tentatively put pen to paper to now, the published forces that they are!

    Thanks guys for your comments.

    Reply
    • February 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm
      Permalink

      lol I am really looking forward to getting another read of this to see how much fat you’ve trimmed – sounds like you’re really getting there!

      Reply
      • February 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm
        Permalink

        Doesn’t seem like a lot at this stage, but started with 268 pages and down to 199, so must have done something right!

        Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm
    Permalink

    OMG, you should read the first book I wrote in high school. It had a sequel that I managed to self publish, but I pulled it because, looking back, I cannot believe how immature my writing was!

    A whole paragraph, eh? How did you find it and come to the decision that that particular paragraph needed strengthening? Often enough, I find myself re-reading the novel I am writing to find such things, but in the previous ones other people would point it out! How embarrassing!

    Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm
    Permalink

    Here is the original paragraph:

    Tycelon stepped inside his tent, it was a hide that had been stripped of all the fur and cured before being softened in the sun with bear fat. It was sewn together by the women of the tribe to form a tent. It was waterproof because of a bear fat and fish oil mixture and stood up to all weather conditions. It had been presented to him when he took over as leader of the tribe. A small fire had been lit in a brass brazier that sat in the middle of the tent. Most tents were warmed with Heating stones, heated in a fire and placed in a crude basket in the centre of other tents. As Tycelon’s tent was larger and occasionally used as a meeting place, His tent needed a larger way of heating. Tycelon was able to stand up in the Tent without having to stoop, and his small brazier warmed the tent quickly. The small brass sphere shaped bowl was solid on the bottom, with a small cage at the top. It was fed using twigs and small branches, so it could be contained without burning down the tent.

    Here is the finished version:

    Tycelon stepped inside his bear hide tent. It had been stripped of all its fur and cured hard then softened in the sun with bear fat. Waterproofing had been created by blending bear fat and fish oil and painted over the stitching. The women of the tribe had sewn it together to create the canvas as a present when he was anointed as leader.

    A small fire had been lit in a brazier located in the middle of the tent. Tycelon stood by the small brass sphere shaped bowl which was solid on the bottom, with a cage at the top. He absentmindedly fed the fire with twigs and small branches. There was a smudge of soot on the roof, but small vents at either end of the tent allowed the smoke to escape.

    I just felt the first part was way too wordy, a bit like JC said in her blog this morning, uses two different ways to say the same thing! Although there is still a lot of info, it just seems cleaner, and no doubt, in another six months, I might come back and pare it down again! I certainly hope not!

    Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    Permalink

    Aye, it did feel wordy. The revised version was more involved, and held some emotion that I didn’t get with the previous version. Thanks for letting us read that! JC generally has good advice, and if I don’t listen she yells at me. 🙁 LoL!

    It is a lot cleaner, but separating it makes the information not so much a slap in the face, you know? The little additions really drew me in, so I say you did quite well in the revision!

    Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm
    Permalink

    This is all stuff she was telling me LAST YEAR! Taken me a year to get it into my head, but pleased that I came to it on my own, because now I appreciate what she was saying all the MORE.

    Second version definitely felt better, and works better with what is around it too. Less telling and more showing I think.

    Reply
    • February 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm
      Permalink

      I think its one of those things that you have to reach in your own time, not one that can be taught. Am glad the comments are helpful now though!

      Reply
      • February 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm
        Permalink

        Agreed, people can tell you until they are blue in the face, but until you are willing to accept what they have to say, or reach a point where you can see it for yourself, you will not understand what they are talking about! 🙂

        Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm
    Permalink

    Sometimes, it takes someone to get us to think and view things outside the box. Hope it continues to work out for you!

    Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm
    Permalink

    It’s been lovely to come back after a couple of hours and see you two have been having a good ole chat 🙂 Isn’t the blogging universe a wonderful thing?

    Reply
    • February 17, 2010 at 10:30 pm
      Permalink

      Well, I posted these comments a gazzillion hours ago JC. I don’t know what kind of hours you keep, but you missed out! 😛

      Reply
      • February 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm
        Permalink

        It has been fun, because good writers always need someone to talk to. Can I get a yup yup??

        Reply
  • February 18, 2010 at 10:23 am
    Permalink

    The last paragraph of this post is one hundred percent the truth. 😛

    Reply
  • February 18, 2010 at 10:28 am
    Permalink

    And it was interesting what you said about writing “evil.” I’ve never written a character that is innately evil. He or she simply has their own ideas that the believe are correct, and often enough these ideas conflict with other characters. And of course, the other characters firmly believe that what they are doing is right. I would much rather allow the reader decide who is right or wrong, to be honest.

    I don’t think I’ve ever written a Michael Myer’s sort of character, and hopefully I never will. You said “Impending doom and hatred” but couldn’t the main characters, the good guys, feel that way as well?

    Yeah, I’m babbling.

    Reply
    • February 18, 2010 at 10:59 am
      Permalink

      I mostly write characters who think they are right as well, its all about how they view the world really. I know a lot of people would call tonnes of my characters evil, but I don’t think of them that way…. it’s just part of who they are. Oh gee, defending my nasty people, lol

      Reply
  • February 18, 2010 at 10:46 am
    Permalink

    I cannot write evil, I know that, but I need to make him dark and sinister. He has years (and I mean YEARS this guy lives a very long time without aging!) of bitter hatred inside of him, but that is hard to portray in a novel without giving so much back history. In fact, I am thinking about getting rid of the second prologue (Yip, I not only have one, I have two…) but I need to incorporate it into the story, it lets you see his descent into… his own personal hell, I suppose you could call it that. It shows some of the dark character that has shaped him.

    Everyone is feeling that there is a change about to happen in my book, there is a sense of urgency from the first scene (well I hope so anyway) and I think this version of the tale is cleaner and clearer, the sense of darkness is definitely there this time around – comes from discovering Horror Short stories and the fact that I can write them… Another discussion perhaps.

    No, you aren’t babbling, I think perhaps I am!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *