Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We all DO it... some of us even like LIKE to do it...

Clicky here - IWSG -Cuz, ya know?

We all do it
Some of us do it really well
Some of us LOVE to do it
Some of us find it more of a chore and only do it when we have to
Or out of a sense of duty
Or because we're guilted into it. 

Git yer mind out of the gutter! 
I'm talking about editing! 
Geeze. Been hanging out with my Valkyrie again, have you? 

I hate editing. 
I mean, I really, really, REALLY hate it. 
It's not that I don't think it's important, because I know it is. It's just so - repetitive. 

Every time I'm faced with edits, I'm all...

I never really thought about editing as a progressive process, until I signed my book deal. Now, I'm learning about developmental edits, content edits, line edits. Oh, and galleys too of course. 

I just finished a combo round of developmental and content edits for book 1 of the Phasms trilogy. God bless my editor. No, really; God bless her. She has the patience of a saint, the fortitude of a mastodon and the tenacity of a ... okay. An editor. 

And she sent me color coded notes so I'd know what to do where. Of course, she sent me a whole 'nother  page of basic "do's and don'ts" that made me wonder why I even HAD a contract. But I digress, and, you know, I love to digress.

So, I sat, staring at the stupid manuscript for a week, not sure how to tackle it. Sort of like...

Then, realizing I had a deadline (Yes, I have deadlines now), I started editing my little heart out, like...

But that wasn't working. I was just driving myself nuts, making the entire manuscript red and ugly. It sort of matched my face, but I don't have a GIF for that, so you'll have to use your imagination. 

After about three days of that madness, I called my friend Justine. 
(sorry, had the grandkids. It reminded me of calling Toodles on Mickey's Playhouse.)

Thank God for Justine. Thank God for friends in general. She calmed my ass down, told me to tackle the major content changes first, and then clean up the little stuff like the dread "as" conundrum. I'll get to that in a minute. She also reminded me to ACTUALLY read what I was revising - so, you know, it would  jive with the rest of the story. Man, she's one smart cookie. 

So I started with a fresh copy of the previously marked up, annotated and color coded manuscript. 

And I read it. 

And I was like...

Yeah. Ever re-read stuff you wrote a while ago and wonder not only WHY you wrote it, but how? 

And I still got a contract. Go figure?

So, I started making the changes my editor suggested. Those editors, their pretty smart, ya know? And I cut. And I re-arranged. And I added. And I had to keep going back and re-reading and re-revising. And I finally got it done. Late Friday night, I saved it, nice and secure, and sent it to my editor. And I went to bed. And I woke up in a cold sweat.

The dreaded "as" conundrum.

Apparently, I have a tendency to overuse the verb "as" when joining two sentences which really should be separate and distinct sentences. Yup. I like those run-on sentences and thought I was sneaky, using "as" to hide them. Doesn't work. And the nightmare I had that made me weak up in a cold sweat?
I dreamed I hadn't touched the "as" issue. And I hadn't.

I woke up early Saturday morning, checked my nice safe little manuscript where it was sleeping in a file on my desk top and there they were. All 682,901. And I only wrote 87,000 words to begin with.


So, I had humble pie for breakfast, emailed my editor and told her to trash the email I'd sent her the night before and dug right back in. It only took a day and a half, thanks to the magic of "find." Of course, when you "find" for "as," you get all the "has" and "was" issues to take care of at the same time.

Which explains the next set of nightmares

I did finally get the whole thing edited. And I added content that, I believe, actually makes the entire book better. Which is really the point, right? 

But I still hate editing.

And when it was all said and done, I felt like...

So - how do you feel about EDITING? Do you like it? Is it the worst chore imaginable similar to a root canal without novacaine? 

HEY! Speaking of contracts and good stuff like that, make sure you read this post: POST and you might get your own chance in editing hell. I mean - get a publishing contract of your own. Smile. No, really, that's a smile. See, the little eyes are shining and the face is pointing up as in...

Oh, never mind. 


  1. Just stopping by from the IWSG to say Hi :)

    Great post honey!

    I HATE editing, with a passion. I just get so sick of going over something again and again, i don't have the patience! So i usually give up and start something else. Which is probably why i now have 3 unedited novels on my hard drive lol


    1. Ha! Too funny, Vikki! I have several more that I can't seem to drill into, or I'd probably have more on contract. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thank you for the education Barbara.
    I've heard of line edits and content edits, but not developmental edits... and WHAT ON EARTH are galleys? Sounds formidable *eeeeeek*
    If only a writer had to sit down and... well, simply write... *sighs*
    Sounds like you beat the editing blues...
    September co-host for the IWSG.
    Writer In Transit

    1. Yes, it's been quite an education for me! Hopefully it will make my first drafts stronger in the long run, which means less editing. Yay!

  3. "Those editors, their pretty smart, ya know?"

    BARB!!! I think you need more jabbing with a red pen, lol!!

  4. Oh, I get plenty! I need to learn to write cleaner!

  5. I don't even know how you do it!! I'd go mad.... Well, madder...



    1. LoL! Thanks Val - I do go madder! That's what all the drinking is about...