Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And So It Begins...

Or so it began two weeks ago. ;-)

I started my first substantive edits a few weeks ago and rewrites on Monday. Even though this is my second novel, it is my first real experience of changing and moving and cutting words in an order that actually makes sense! (Don't ask about my previous experiences, just know it resembled something like Swiss cheese)

There is a certain amount of fear that comes with editing. What if I don't see what needs to be fixed? What if I can't figure out my subplot? What if my story is too depressing and I am just wasting my time?

What if? What if? What if? What if?


I admit those are my two most used/hated words in my vocabulary. And usually when I start thinking along the what if lines I find myself in front of a spider solitaire game.

Coming into my edits for the first time on a full length novel the one thing I have learned is: one page at a time.

Just. One. Page. At. A. Time.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (or so I've heard, I have yet to try it myself)

I can't think about the other 336 pages that need to be fixed, I need to focus on that one page. The dialogue, showing, plot, setting, emotions. The big picture is simply overwhelming, but I can do one page.

I still won't doubt I fight the What If syndrome, but one page a time seems to be a helpful cure. *wink*

Do you have any helpful editing tips?


  1. That's a good attitude. I have to admit sometimes I feel kind of lost in the process, but thankfully that God teaches us along the way :).

    Haha I have no tips except marry an English major like I did. :) He gave me advice for my "quick edit."

    As for depressing? You read my're in their with the champ (White Christmas quote, one of my all-time favorite movies).

    OK, now that I wrote a novella :)

  2. Casey,
    I so understand where you are with editing and the tension involved inside your writer's heart:) You're actually preparing for the day when you're in-house and your editors go over your manuscript with a magnifier. And your perspective is right on - one. page. at. a. time.

    That's how I address any revisions/edits as looking at the big picture of the book is just too overwhelming.

    On The Colonel's Lady, I recently received my first revisions letter:) Somehow the last 2 books glided through production without one (God's grace). But this book... Sigh. I am just taking everything in pieces/stages. First I addressed/answered all my editor's queries in the body of manuscript (bless track-changes in Word) Then I added more backstory as requested (can you imagine? I thought I was the Queen of backstory!). Then I began deleting scenes and creating new ones. NOW I have to address some weak threads. The manuscript looks like it's bleeding red in places (more places than I like). BUT God is so faithful. He kept me from being overwhelmed and has kept me on task. I still have more work to do before deadline and my laptop is failing but it will come out all right.

    Long story short, you're in my prayers and you write, edit, read, and all else:) Bless you for being such an enouragement and light.

  3. @Julia, hahaha, maybe I used marry an EM. :) That would be something wouldn't it. :) *grin*

    @Laura, you amaze me! And oh I will be praying that your computer holds out, I can't imagine, not having my computer! More backstory? That does seem like an odd request these days. :) But thank you for stopping by, that means a great deal and the prayers are eagerly returned. You motivate me Laura, above and beyond all else! Have a wonderful day.

  4. Oh my! I don't know how you authors do it! I don't really know the first thing about writing but I do know if you don't work for it you don't appreciate it as much but I alos think OTHERS won't appreciate it as much, do you know what I mean? SOOOO if you ever decide to get your book "out there" those who read it will know that this girl took her time and really worked on this and it shows!

    Do I make any sense at all? LOL

    XOXO~ Renee

  5. Ahhh, Renee that is going to keep me writing another day! I agree with you. Anything worth doing, is worth doing well, on top of the fact that it will be someones entertainment someday (I hope!)I definately want to be a writer that pushes and strives for the best product possible. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Casey, I didn't want to belabor this during the interview but wanted to thank you personally for praying for me. My laptop expired but the Lord was so good and I was able to get a a great deal done and saved beforehand. I really believe your prayers helped. Thanks for being such a wonderful encouragement! Phil. 1:3!


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