Archive for the ‘editing’ Category

Editing is a strange thing. There are a couple of different types as far as i can tell. Editing your content, which is where you look for plot holes and structural changes to the story that will make it stronger – or checking for grammar and spelling.

The first bit of advice I can give is – unless you have finished your book, don’t try and edit it (unless there is something specific you need to change – then yeah – do that before you forget) – but don’t keep reading through the beginning – you will absolutely keep finding things and get pulled away from the part of the story that you are actually on. There are things that I put into the beginning of the story after I had finished writing the book, because there were things I knew at the end that I hadn’t known when I started writing the book. I don’t always know every detail before I start a book (obviously or the writing would be easy) and so i like to give myself the time and distance before editing for plot flaws – because the closer I am – the less I see.

The other kind of editing is more difficult for me, I don’t know what an adverb is, my punctuation is shit and I forget to format paragraphs properly. I read through it on the computer many many times – I don’t think i would be lying if i said i had read through it AT LEAST 50 times on the computer – fortunately i am a fast reader and so it only takes me a day to read it through. That was great. I could do spell check over and over and then still find errors. I had a reader read my book, and she (i assume it was a she) said some of my dialogue was a bit hammy (how dare she!) and so i printed off my book and then went through the whole thing with a highlighter pen and highlighted every single bit of dialogue. I looked through the conversations and saw if there was anything i could fine tune. It was actually an interesting exercise to see how much dialogue I had in the book, I think I had a fairly good balance.

I also went through wherever I found a mistake and put a post it note on there, colour coded, pink for spelling, green for typos, orange for plot relating to the sequel, yellow for grammar..etc

1973409_806553016087339_5542534076397487280_o

mmmm pretty

Finally there’s formatting, paragraph indentations, proper line spacing, making sure you have page numbers – also the title of your book at the top left header and the author name the top right corner. Capital letters where they should be and stuff like that. I also post it noted areas where that was wrong.

the key is organisation of the mind, and also just removing the emotion from it. its a product, you wouldnt try and sell a jumper you had knitted if there were holes in it would you? who would buy it? An agent needs you to make their 15%, so they are not going to represent someone who is submitting a jumper full of holes are they? They then have to fix the holes and move on to showing the jumper to a publisher who will then go – why would I want a jumper like that? (My analogy is thin – just go with it)

The funny thing about me is that if there is even remotely one spelling mistake in a book I am reading i totally notice it – in my own work, not so much.

That’s just how I work. I couldn’t afford an editor and so I had to rely on myself mostly to work it out, like everything with my writing. I am self taught, I didn’t go to University and do a masters degree in creative writing, (in fact i did six months of a computer software engineering degree before realising I was definitely a creative type and giving up) – There’s nothing wrong with doing a degree, but I believe with the right amount of dedication and determination you can learn without it. Also I suck at education.

Remember, its important to know the rules so that you know when its OK to break them.

Until next time

also – heres a great mash up video for inspiration

Advertisements