Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Edit when the ink is red

That title really ought to be edited.

The past couple days, I've been editing a young adult novel I wrote about a year ago. Although I normally loathe editing, it's not so bad. However, I suspect that my tolerance is greatly fortified by the fact that I haven't touched this story in that entire year.

Nonetheless, it feels fresh and zesty for the moment, and so I'm going to it with gusto. It's actually a nice change from writing new material; I especially have difficulties wringing new words from my brain on the weekend, but seem to have no trouble whatsoever destroying entire paragraphs with red ink.

Of course, the real work is yet to come. The novel is at least moderately "broken," and it will take at least a few infusions of creativity to make it do-anything-withable. Even though the novel is already written, and even though it really ought to be re-written rather than edited, I'm just trying to find simple and straightforward ways to stretch it into a simple three-act structure. Much as that is... uninspiring, it should do the trick (the trick being "make it work"), and it should be considerably better paced than the current 200 page introduction, 100 page climax-and-denouement structure.

Besides, I really, really don't like re-writing - especially when it comes to 300 page stories that were inspired (or maybe uninspired) by the Twilight Saga.

... yeah. More on that another time, maybe.

A curiosity: I wanted to find a little clip art to brighten up this post, but when I Googled "editing," all the images that cropped up had to do with photo and film - and, in particular, it seemed, Photoshoping body images. Well, this post is neither photo, film, nor body image, but, I guess, if you unfocus your eyes a little and let the characters swim together into some kind of proto-art, these words should be just exemplary enough on their own...

Anyway, editing's not so bad. The real problem with it is that I do it so much better when it's printed out, rather than just on-screen. But, man... I don't know if I can afford these paper costs.

Anyone want to toss me a massive, lucrative advance? I did mention it was inspired by Twilight, right?



  1. You've got to get over that obsession with print-outs. Save the Earth! Split your manuscript up into parts and use the Microsoft Word "Review" mode to mark it up while tracking changes so you can go back if you change your mind.

    Unless you're writing Steampunk. In which case, you should use dot-matrix printing powered by coal-fired solar panels. (What?)

  2. You're absolutely right. I was actually looking at the manuscript last night and thought: "Jesus Christ, as soon as I finish editing this, I'M GOING TO HAVE TO READ IT ALL OVER AGAIN AND ENTER IT INTO THE COMPUTER."

    Totally not cool. Next time, I'm going digital.