Monday, 16 June 2008

Ready, Steady, Edit.....

I have printed out my first draft and I smile. Then I panic a little as I think (aka worry)....... Now I have to edit it. It has to be so good that someone will want to publish it. What if I miss some obvious style faux pas and am laughed out of the publishing world? Etc. Etc.

So then I rush up to my bookshelf. I am sure that I have at least one book that advises on editing a novel. On my shelf I find "The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing" by Evan Marshall. It is a little dusty and forgotten. When I bought it a few years ago, I thumbed through and read little. This time I quickly search the contents and find the section on editing. There is lots of useful advice. But I'm not that comforted. Why? Because with so much to consider; I am feeling a little nervous.

I do a small search on the internet. One of the first sites I find is http://www.suite101.com/writingandublishing. On this I find plenty of advice. In fact, I see myself spending much time browsing some promising looking articles and perusing the blog links.

My complete first draft sits next to me. I look at it lovingly. There are still no coloured pen edits and the pages are pristine. Tomorrow, I will begin to carve it up with a new set of felt pens!

Any kind and useful tips/comments will be gratefully received.

4 comments:

  1. I would love to be helpful and give you some useful tips here but judging by how slowly I'm going with my own editing, I don't think I'm at all qualified to.

    Your post sums up exactly how I feel too. It's hard to edit something and be sure that you're heading in the right direction.

    Best of luck with your editing. Dx

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  2. From much trial and error this is the way that suits me:

    1. I read through the entire thing and make notes on the margins, cross outs as I go along, just ticking things over in my mind.

    2. I take the first chapter and read through it again, making notes/rewriting on the back of each page as I go. I think about plot, character, five senses description, show not tell, etc.

    3. I then edit the chapter on my computer, incorporating the rewrites/notes that I've made on paper.

    Doing it this way suits me because I find it hard to do 'big picture' edits straight on the computer. Also it's like doing two edits. But it is different for everyone - my advice is to play around until you find something that suits you!

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  3. Hi Kat,
    thanks so much for popping into my blog, great to meet you! And you live in Cornwall, I am very jealous.

    Congrats on your first draft, that's wonderful. Now you have what to work with, it's not that staring-at-a-blank-screen feeling. I've never written a novel, so can't offered personal advice, but a great writer I heard speak recently was strongly in favour of leaving things in drawers for a while until you can look at it with fresher eyes. Come write some flash fiction in the meantime!

    Tania

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  4. Debs - thank you for your support. The great thing about meeting other blogger/writers is that it makes you feel less alone.

    Yvonne - many thanks for your detailed advice. It sounds very workable and I shall give it a try.

    Tania - thanks for visiting. I've heard similar advice. It's certainly worth taking a step back. Sometimes I get too close and it's hard then to be objective. I've been thinking about character names today after reading your blog.

    Thanks all :-)

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