life · writing

Snap Decisions Have Been Made

I’m slowly recuperating from my bout with the flu/whatever the heck that was. With the whole family being out-of-order with some weird combination of symptoms on and off for the past two/three-ish weeks, I consider myself extremely lucky to have gotten off with just a few days of misery.

At the moment, I still wake up with killer headaches and walk around clutching a box of tissues, but I can look at my computer screen without my brain melting, and my appetite is coming back.

(My appetite is always the last thing to go and the first thing to come back. I love me some food!).

Anyway, two nights ago while I was wide awake at 2am in the morning, I decided to read one of my old stories, since I had the first couple of chapters printed and they happened to be within arm’s reach. That turned out to be a pretty bad idea. I ended up turning on my computer to read the end (tell me I am not the only who does this with their own book, otherwise I’m going to sound horribly conceited… or desperate), and it was just really, really sad. I may have been delirious or something. Picture it. Me, wrapped up in my comforter. Blowing my nose. My eyes all glassy. Clutching my computer. Making little whimper so-many-feels noises.

All this to say, now that I’m feeling much better and prepping to get back to work, I’ve come to realize that I’m ready to take a break from writing and start doing some serious editing. I’m still excited about my new ideas, but I’m also still really excited about ideas I already wrote, and I want to go back and bring those ideas to their shiniest possible state.

This is A GOOD THING, since I wanted to put a bigger focus on editing this year, anyway, and I might as well get cracking on that now. I have a ton of different options, so now I get to pick what book I want to edit!

Hopefully this excitement won’t fail me, and I’ll probably start writing something in a little bit, anyway, but I’ve decided to make editing my big focus instead of vomitting out more books.

Now – question for y’all! How do you like to edit? I want to try some different techniques than my usual one, just for exploration’s sake. I know a lot of people like to print it out, and some use track changes and stuff like that. Do you use any kind of editing softwares? Super awesome pens? Magic shoes?

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3 thoughts on “Snap Decisions Have Been Made

  1. I usually start by making a fresh outline, now that I know the book in its finished state. Then I decide on big changes, and I do them just on the document. No track changes. No comments. Just plain old deleting and retyping. I usually let my betas decide next. Good luck!

  2. Goodness no, I’ll read my own stories as if they’re the only things worth reading–then find an incredibly stupid mistake or typo and just sit there staring at it, embarrassed (especially if I’ve already sent it to someone else.) I’ve read my book so many times…including the old drafts which are really different from this one.

    Tips for editing…I’ve got plenty of those, I spent all Autumn editing and I’m still not done.
    First, to keep things interesting, don’t edit in chronological order. Pick out the dullest scenes and work on them first. If you edit in chronological order, things will become dull and monotonous, you’ll be more concerned with getting through a chapter than actually shining the novel.

    Also, get sticky notes and write down dates/amounts of money/other details that seem pointless but you think you’ll forget. Nasty, tricky little things…they’ll vanish and pop up when they can potentially cause a disastrous rewrite. (e.g. “What was the weather when such-and-such happened?” And it turns out to have been in the summer when the whole novel is set in winter…and that changes things…ugh! domino effect.)

    Finally, divide your novel into two halves before you get started. That makes the process faster and easier to complete, since you can focus on part 1 and part 2, and complete them in smaller bites. Best of all, you get a chance to tighten each half better, and connect subplots from one part to another. (It sounds crazy but I tried it and it was amazing the difference it made.)

    I hope you get better!

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