Thursday, February 18, 2010

Editing = Inescapable

I'd like to apologize upfront for the state of the logic in this post. Sleep, as it turns out, is important to brain function. I just chose not to remember that this week. It's worth it, though. I'm mostly sure.

It turns out, even when I'm not working on my MS, there's always editing to be done. (Why can I not be perfect the first time around? Come on, Universe. I'm not asking to be perfect at everything. Just the writing. Is that too much to ask?) Even if it's not fiction writing, I'm still working on things that need to be revised a hecka lot.

Editing my fiction, though, opened my eyes to some flaws in my writing that occur whether I'm writing fiction or non-fiction. Redundancy seems to be a consistent feature across the board. I will have to work on that one, I know.

When I remarked to The Other One that I would need to trust my reader, she replied, "Honey, just try to remember you're writing for a human being, not a goldfish."

Okay, here goes: I do solemnly swear to remember that my readers are human beings and are therefore capable of remembering things over a period of more than five seconds. **crosses heart**

Do you do much editing outside of your fiction? Have you noticed a trend in your editing or writing? Any good advice you've gotten or been given lately you'd like to share.


  1. I edit everything and sometimes it really just makes me cranky. I have to really work to turn my inner editor off when I read.

    And I think that's a really good mark for me when I'm reading if my inner editor doesn't go off, because that means I'm really caught up in the writing.

  2. I'm finding now when I'm reading fiction I have the inner editor on. I don't know if it's because I've gotten really serious about my own writing and want to not make those same mistakes, or if I'm just being snarky.

    As for editing my own work, I need to let it sit for a long long time, so that I've almost forgotten I've written it, and can edit it with a cold eye.

  3. *raises hand* I'm totally guilty of the repeating thing. And one of my betas was kind of enough to point it out. Then she asked if I wanted to be guilty of the Twilight-Edward syndrome - repeating the same thing over and over and over again.

    That's what first drafts are for. And revisions. Reminders are nice, but maybe not on every page.

  4. I am pretty much the queen of redundancy in my first drafts. It takes a lot for me to get rid of all the repetition.

  5. Editing is both a beautiful and hideous beast. Beautiful because I can fix what needs to be fixed and hideous because I can fix what needs to be fixed. ;)

  6. My editing secret is the AutoCrit Editing Wizard. It finds all those redundancies and repetitions and really makes editing a lot easier! I love it.

  7. Sarahjayne -- I concur about the internal editor. I hate when mine interrupts my reading.

    Piedmont -- With most things, I agree, getting a little space helps a lot. But, then again, sometimes there isn't much time. Depends on the situation, I'd say.

    Windy -- Twilight-Edward syndrome? I don't think I've ever heard it called that before. Interesting.

    Stephanie -- I guess that's why we all revise. Revision's a pain, but it helps oodles.

    L.T. Elliot -- I like your way of putting it.

    Janine -- I've never heard of it. I might have to check that out.