Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's Your Favourite?

So, I'm in the middle of editing one of my stories - with a few side trips into revision territory.

I've been spending the last few days slashing and burning. My first drafts tend to have a log of redundant phrases. A lot! I don't worry about them at all when I'm drafting and not too much when I'm revising - I leave them for a treat for later. Because attacking that draft with my editing sword is FUN! I love tightening - finding the redundancies. It's my favourite part of the whole revising/editing process.

I'm not sure why the slashing makes me smile, but it does. I've always liked swords ...


So, what's your favourite part of the editing process? Do you like to wield your sword as well?

74 comments:

  1. What I like about editing is tightening my prose and moving text so related thoughts are together. Sometimes they become separated and belabor the point.

    And, yes, I like pulling my doubled-edged editing sword from my scabbard and slicing away. :)

    Kathi

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  2. Kathi - it is fun, isn't it! I love watching it shrink and tighten - and just get better!

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  3. hi miss jemi! for me i dont use a sword. i use a machete cause i got so much jungle to chop through. ha ha. mostly cause i got a way of writing way too much i go edit my stuff after just every couple chapters. but i gotta do it again when i got my story all done. i could start out with a novel and end up with a short story. ha ha.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  4. Lenny - I may be borrowing your machete one of these days! I've already cut about 5k on this story & I still have more to go! But I'm having fun! Hope you are too! :)

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  5. Like the idea of wielding a sword. I must slay "that"!

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  6. Slashing is fun but sometimes I like the opposite. Coming across a scene I realize I raced through and being able to layer in all those sights, sounds, smells, emotions that really bring it to life.

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  7. Oh I detest editing! LOL!! I hate it!! LOL!! Seriously!! I slash, burn, cry and tear my hair out because I cannot believe all the idiotic and stupid things I've written! LOL!!!

    GOOD LUCK with weilding your mighty shiny and powerful editing sword!!! Take care
    x

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  8. I've been re-typing poems for my new book.....a good job I did for I found many mistakes that I haven't noticed before.

    Yvonne.

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  9. You wouldn't think it would, but cutting words, sentences, entire paragraphs does feel good. And once I've cut something I've never felt the need to reinstate it. So, yes, I like the editing process: tightening words and reducing their count. I like it. I like everything about writing except the query. Which, some would say, is the most important thing of all.

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  10. Theresa - 'that' is one of my favourites to slash! Fun! :)

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  11. Linda - I need to do those scene additions too - but I find them a whole lot harder than the slashing! :)

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  12. Old Kitty - Love it! It's such a bizarre feeling when we come across stuff we've written ... and it awful! But that's balanced by the stuff we find and think ... wow, that's awesome!! :)

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  13. Yvonne - it really is odd how we can edit something several times and still miss those little things.

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  14. Yvonne O - yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of the query either - but like all else, I'm getting better at it! :)

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  15. I usually have repetitive words that need slashing, but for me it's more about adding to the story. What scene needs more desscription? What scenes can be added? Which character needs a little more? Guess for me it's a sledgehammer so I can pound in more stuff.

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  16. Alex - I find adding to the story more difficult - much more fun to slash! Maybe if I think about using that big ol' sledgehammer, it'll be easier! :)

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  17. Agnes - me too! They're incredible :)

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  18. I like layering in subtext in dialogue scenes--body language, inner thought, etc. It takes the he said, she said to a whole new level. I also like swapping in stronger words to create sound patterns. Kinda like subtle poetry.

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  19. Laurel - I'm going to do the stronger verb/word search next - that'll be fun too! :)

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  20. I actually really like editing as well!! :) It does feel... empowering. :)

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  21. I like cutting the wases, the justs, the littles and the -ings wherever I can. I like adding layers, too. Wow. I think I really like writing.

    Good luck to you!!!

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  22. Bethany - empowering is such a great word for it! Perfect :)

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  23. Anita - It IS fun! I love cutting those silly words that creep in without any warning - so many 'justs' in my first drafts!

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  24. I like the slashing and tightening, too! Have fun wielding your shiny, sharp sword, Jemi! You're like the Xena of revisions, LoL.

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  25. Laura - ooooo, I like that! I can be Xena!! Off I go... :)

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  26. Your pic is awesome. I think I must go watch The Lord of the Rings now.
    Oh, and cutting back my word count doesn't seem quite as bad when I have a pic of Viggo Mortensen to look at. Well played, Jemi.

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  27. Emily - Viggo always helps! I (obviously) adore LotR - I often play it in the background when I'm writing or editing! :)

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  28. I hate editing! That's why I edit as I go, so there won't be much work left when I finish the story.

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  29. I love it when I *recognize* that something of mine is bad (I feel smug that it hasn't slipped by me!) and then come up with a better option for replacement. :)

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  30. Mari - I'm not a fan of rewriting when there are plot discrepancies that I have to weave back together - but I love the other aspects of editing! :)

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  31. Elizabeth - oh, what a good way to describe it!! I get that smug feeling too ... 'hah, thought you could slip by ME into the final draft? Take that!' Love it :)

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  32. I try to tighten as I go -- I print out daily output and read in hard copy so things jump out at me. But no matter what, there are always those scenes that are there because I think they're brilliant writing, and not because they offer anything to the story.

    Terry
    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

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  33. Terry - I've never done it that way - but it certainly makes sense. I do see differently on screen than I do on paper.

    It's really hard to let go of those perfect little scenes/phrases - even when they don't add. So hard.

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  34. I like it when it's soooo close to being done and I'm breezing through it on the 34th read. (Or around that number, anyway.)

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  35. Helen - That's about my number too! It is such a good feeling at that point! :)

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  36. Yes--I love slashing and cutting things out, since I usually feel much more satisfied with my writing afterwards. :)

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  37. Golden Eagle - it is fun! And it creates a much better story, so that makes it more awesome! :)

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  38. Ah, Aragorn.

    Sorry...got distracted. LOL.

    I'm an underwriter so no slashing for me, more of "add writing here" kinda of process.

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  39. And the 'pen is mightier than the sword'. Oh really? Ever had a duel with a pen against a sword :)
    Take care, eh...

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  40. Karen - I know! He's very good for distractions! :)

    I much prefer to slash than add - I find it so much easier!

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  41. Gary - I do like my handy dandy sword! It's very helpful :)

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  42. Hmmm cutting can hurt too. I just cut a chapter in my rewrite.

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  43. The rewriting. I's awesome to tranform a crappy first draft into something of substance. :)

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  44. Al - ooooo - a whole chapter? That does hurt!

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  45. Laila - it is so exciting to see how we can transform it into a worthwhile product! :)

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  46. I actually like editing. I didn't have to slash and burn nearly as much this time around as I've gotten a bit better. This time around I've added quite a bit of stuff as I go along, trying to stay a few days ahead of my editor.

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  47. I like the paint brushing part of editing rather than the slicing swords. I can colour in vibrancy or darkness, or even blot, dropping white over black and beginning again.

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  48. Stephen - that's good! I know I've been getting better as well - it's a nice feeling! :)

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  49. Lynn - that's the part I'm still working at. Description is not my favourite part of the process - but I'm getting better at adding those nuances! :)

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  50. I love adding the layers to the story. Connecting even more with the characters.

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  51. I love cutting those redundant, irrelevant, tautological phrases out too. I get hung up on the word count at the bottom of the screen. It becomes like a game, how low can I go!

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  52. Ciara - I find it tough to add in those layers - it changes so many nuances throughout the rest of the story! I'm getting stronger though!

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  53. Rosalind - it is fun to do all that cutting and slicing!! I don't look at the word count too often - so when I do it's always a Wow! moment :)

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  54. I do love slashing! I like tidying up and tightening prose.

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  55. Talli - me too! There's something soothing about it - makes me feel good! :)

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  56. Silly girl. As with sex my favorite part of editing is FINISHING!

    After that, the thing I enjoy most is when I get to insert scenes. I love diving back into the story with a new chapter or scene or POV.


    - Eric

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  57. Eric - I really did LOL at that one!! Yes! Finishing is a very good part as welll!!! :)

    I find that creating those new scenes a bit stressful - unless I don't have to weave in threads throughout the rest of the book. But I usually do!

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  58. Sort of like cleaning - I don't really enjoy the process, but the end result of the sword wielding is more sparkle and less clutter. It's the same idea with writing.

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  59. Anne - good analogy - it's very much the same feeling. But I'd rather pick up my sword than my mop any day!! :)

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  60. I'm not thrilled with the editing process, but it does mean I'm closer to the end.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  61. Lee - there are parts of the editing that are fun ... others not so much. But you're so right - it all brings us closer to the end.

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  62. There is NO part of the editing process that I enoy! None. And what's worse... It seems to be never-ending!

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  63. DL - it really IS never-ending! I have a hard time knowing when done is, well, done. :)

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  64. I'm not in the editing phase yet, though I edit here and there while writing (I'm neurotic). I always cringe at my redundancies. They make my skin crawl. Yikes!

    Slash away, my dear. Happy editing!

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  65. Cherie - I do bits and pieces of editing when I draft too - hopefully makes it easier in the long run. Those redundancies keep creeping in though! :)

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  66. Great post. I LOVE making my manuscripts more concise. There's nothing better than beating the metal into perfection :0)

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  67. Elisabeth - it IS fun, isn't it? :) Love watching it take shape!

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  68. I like seeing my lame lines come together into something sharp.

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  69. Diane - It does feel really good! It's fun to watch it all develop :)

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  70. I love the hacking and slashing of the little things. I love to tighten the story and see it start to shine.

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  71. Lynda - exactly! I love it too - it's such fun to watch it grow ... while it's shrinking :)

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  72. I love getting rid of the extra words and tightening things up. Also, there are a few expressions and words that I frequently use and I love going through with the "find" function and thinking of creative ways freshen up my language that I fall into by habit. Fun, fun stuff.

    I wandered by from the BBQ. Nice to meet you!

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  73. Wendy - so nice to meet you!! :)

    I love that find tool as well - it is such a big help. I don't always 'see' the individual words when I'm reading it as a whole.

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