Tuesday 2 April 2013

Editing Sucks

I thought I'd surface from the sea of editing to do a bit of blogging. Just for a change of pace! (I'm not procrastinating. Blogging is important too!)

So it turns out writing 300 pages is easy. Okay, not easy, but it's just the first step. I am a weird combination of a plotter and pantser. For those unaware, a plotter is a writer who outlines their book down to the tiniest little detail. Like what flavour cake their main character ate at his third birthday party. I read a book on outlining by a woman who takes an average of 3 months to outline her book.

3 months to outline? I wrote my entire book in a month.

Of course, perhaps that's why I'm now having to edit the crap out of it. But I digress. Where was I? Right - pantser. A pantser is a writer who starts with a nugget of an idea (What would happen if witches wanted to turn all the children in the world into mice? Thanks Mr. Dahl!) and then just starts writing, letting the words go where they will, giving a big middle finger to outlines and plans in general. The problem pantsers often have is writing themselves into a corner.

My personal approach, and one that I think a lot of writers use, is to do a rough outline. I'll name my characters and write physical descriptions of them along with some major personality traits. Then I take my "what if" and plan a series of events to get me from the beginning to the end. So I'm somewhere between the two extremes. I'm a plotster. Or is that a planter? Whatever.

I tend to edit as I go along. If I think of something as I'm typing, I'll go back and change it right away. And I hate those squiggly red, green and blue lines under the words in Word. They taunt me until I go back and fix the spelling or grammar or whatever. After my book was rejected by Harper Voyager, I revised and edited it again before submitting to Evernight. Now I'm faced with the daunting task of "ripping down and revisioning" my book and it's hard! *stamps foot, pouts, and crosses arms* I have had to readjust my premise, outline a new plot, change the timeline, rename the characters...it goes on and on! I may even have to change the title of the book. Arrrggghhh!

Anyway, just wanted to share my pain. I'm making headway. The long weekend gave me a good opportunity to dig into the story and I've already written 11, 000 words of new material. I've cut a good deal of the old stuff, and I've expanded some of it. And I need to do more, so I'll sign off now and get to it.

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