Saturday, March 31, 2012

Editing with Experience

In preparation of self-publishing Conventional Demon, I’m doing a final edit before sending it along to my copyeditor.

The last round of edits I did were a year and a half ago. Since then, I’ve written a novel (placeholder title: Faye), a novella, and I’m halfway through a second novel (placeholder title: Eva). I also edited the novella and am working on edits of Faye. I’ve read Stephen King’s On Writing, parts of Robert McGee’s Story, and numerous online articles on the craft of writing and editing. I’ve reread The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. I’ve critiqued stories for friends and strangers. I’ve studied critiques of other people’s work.

In other words, I’ve improved my craft. More importantly for Conventional Demon, I’ve advanced my editing skills. I can identify extraneous phrases with a more practiced eye and greater ease. Flawed transitions pop off the page.

I’m pleased to know I’m progressing as an writer and editor. In the middle of learning, it’s hard to see the progress. It’s not until I have some distance, like rereading a manuscript that’s been untouched for a year and half, that I can see my progress.

Which means, that for the last two hours, I edited a whopping ten pages of Conventional Demon.

As with every draft, the beginning is the hardest, most time-consuming section. There’s a hundred different factors to balance, not the least of which include tone, pacing, character information, tension, setting, and theme. Which means rather than be alarmed by my five-pages-an-hour progress, I’m settling into the process. I’m pleased that I can see I’m making my novel better, taking it to that next level. It’s just going to take a little longer than I anticipated. I seem to write that a lot on this blog.

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