Monday, February 20, 2012

Results From The Character Blogfest

  So I didn't get to write a decent post about this last week because of craziness going on at work, but I wanted to thank Cassie Mae and Angie for putting together The Character Blogfest. I was really surprised when I found out that Angie chose me as a winner for Day 2! Normally, I have horrible luck at winning things, ( I can remember a long stint losing Elementary School Bingo).  So this just felt great! And winning a masterful editing eye? Even better.

    My manuscript though, doesn't seem to want to behave. I've been doing a bit of editing lately to see if some of the bigger changes that I make improve the piece. I decided to try the neat and tidy route (so unlike me) and actually start with a full read through. I just take notes about the problems, and this gives me a chance to see the structural problems. Cheryl Klein mentions this strategy in her book Second Look. The only problem being that I get to focused in on the fact that I can't fix small grammar problems to notice the big glaring plot problems.

  What's a girl to do?

  I'd be interested to hear what everyone else's strategies are for editing novel pieces. Do you just dig in from page one? Or do you have a more structured approach. I'm interested to hear what works for you.

6 comments:

  1. Hmmm...well, as far as editing goes...after I type 'the end', which i never actually type but theoretically I mean ;), I read through the whole thing, front to back about two to three times. I find that with this I am able to catch grammatical issues and tell whether or not my characters seem consistent, yet do that growing thing they're supposed to from beginning to end as well.

    After that, the CPs baby! :) That's what they're for. And let me tell you, Angie is one of my CPs, how I got so lucky I have NO idea. And she is awesome. She will help you, I promise! She is great at constructive criticism. It will be completely honest, but helpful. Your MS will come out all shiny :)

    And she already thought you were awesome. She picked you ;)

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  2. When I'm done, I set it aside for about a month. Then I do a read through with a notebook by my side. At this point, I'm not so worried about grammar and spelling...I'm looking for plot holes and plot drops (you know where I start a sub plot, then abandon or forget to follow up). I go through WIP chapter by chapter and write a little summary of each chap. Once I feel the plot is solid, then I go after spelling and grammar. Then I will send it out to Beta readers, then look over their comments and make corrections. Then I read it out loud as I edit for the final go over.
    Then I do a prayer vigil.

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  3. My process has been different every time, but the one that has worked the best for me was the time I wrote another book immediately following the first draft. Then I was really able to go back through and make the first one work. It gave me a lot of distance (which I needed), but it also gave me a way to vent by working on another project if I work myself into a corner.

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  4. My revising and editing process is really thorough. I do sweep after sweep after sweep. Each time I do a read-through I focus on looking for one thing. You can imagine by the time I'm done that I want to burn my MS. :)
    Congrats on the win!

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  5. Thanks for the encouragement, Kelley. It is going to be really useful to have someone pick apart what's working in the book and what need to go. It's so interesting to hear how everyone differs in their editing habits, but it sounds like a full read through is useful. It is so far for me too, but I'm finding a lot things that I think probably need to be changed structurally. So you're right Elizabeth... I'll just have to do a prayer vigil.

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  6. I do a complete read-through with each draft and usually send second draft to my CP's. I start with the structure and overall pacing and end with sentences and words. The process takes me several months.

    Good luck with your edit, and congrats on being a winner!

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