On Editing...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The editing process, as I’ve found, is always a learning curve. One can never know too much about editing. The more you edit, the more you learn, which leads to better writing.

Participating on a peer-review critique group is a huge help for me. Not just in terms of getting feedback on my writing, but also seeing how others write, mistakes they make (in turn pointing me to look at my writing for those same issues when I might not have seen them before), and how others interpret the same work in different ways.

One of my weaknesses is commas. As a touch-typist I tend to write like I speak. That means it’s not unusual for me to insert commas where I would naturally take a pause in my speech, and that’s not always where a comma should be placed, grammatically speaking. Add to that every manuscript I write seems to reveal a “repeat” word, one I overuse for whatever reason. Some of my biggest offenders: really, finally, just, And (used at the beginning of a sentence). Not that any of these words, in and of themselves, are bad. But if I overuse them it weakens my writing.

Find and replace is my friend, I’ve learned. *LOL*

Ironically, I don’t struggle with passive sentences as much as I used to. I tend to catch them sooner in the writing process now. Not saying I’m perfect by any stretch of the imagination, just more aware than I used to be.

I’m also one of those writers who will edit up until the manuscript is ripped out of my desperate hands, while I’m still scribbling and crying, “Not yet! Just one more read-through, please!” *LOL* I would probably edit the thing a gazillion times if given the opportunity. There comes a time when I have to let it go, however, and finally do.

I sent Christine, my editor on “Love & Brimstone,” my latest round of edits. I’m preparing to head for the bunker when I get yelled at. *LOL* I’m kidding (I hope!). She’s been fantastic, very patient, and I hope she gets assigned to me for the other books in the series. (And no, that’s not just me sucking up to her either. *LOL*) I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about bad editors, but she’s sharp and knows what she’s doing. I was extremely fortunate that she was assigned my manuscript.

So now back to the grind on another manuscript while I chew my nails. Not only in anticipation of completing the process of seeing “Love & Brimstone” to print, but I have two other manuscripts (unrelated to this one) out in queries. Waiting, waiting, waiting. And other books in the Brimstone Series to complete.

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