Friday, April 11, 2014

The Joys and Pains of Editing

I made a hard, fast rule when I finished Only Human. Any book I write now has two word documents associated with it; one for the story I'm actively writing and one labeled with the name and then 'edit' next to it. Every thousand words or so, I cut and paste what I've just worked on into editing and don't look at it again until I'm done with the book. As I write, names and ideas change and I leave random notes scattered through the edit document to remind myself what I want to change it to be.

As I've mentioned before, I read the blog Go Teen Writers a lot and learned from Mrs. Stephanie Morrill that it's best to leave your manuscript for a bit before starting the editing process. She recommended six weeks after your original manuscript is written but I would personally go for a month since it would be difficult for me to wait that long.

Human Nature is only a few months old and already I have at least a dozen notes of changes I've thought of as I've been writing. Today was a particularly painful day in which I wrote over a thousand words, realized the story line was falling flat, and proceeded to delete my last weeks worth of work (About a chapters worth). It's painful but I realized it had to change and there was no point in keeping everything I just wrote. It's much easier to delete words several weeks after you've written them since you're not quite as attached after that amount of time but I just went for the whole thing today, ripping the band aid off without a second thought instead of waiting and fussing over it for a few days. This book as been much better about presenting ways out of writing corners than my last one was. I tend to think I'm a lot more experienced and probably the fact I'm writing so much right now and constantly coming up with new ideas makes a writing dry much harder to come across. Whenever I'm feeling particularly uninspired, I hit up the free kindle books on Amazon which immediately make me want to go back to my own writing. Not that they're are terribly, some are actually quite good but...I know I can do better than that, even if it means I'm only selling a 0.99 book which is quite possibly. Hardly anyone paid that much when Only Human was on sale. I know that it's a new book and an unrecognized author and all but it's still a bit discouraging...

Lately, I seem to be bursting with ideas for random novels. I have a bunch started but am forcing myself to work only on Human Nature unless I have an idea I just have to write out in one of my other books. Every time I think of an idea, usually when I'm washing dishes or on a car ride, I make a document for it, date it, and write down all the ideas I've had. At some point, those book ideas will either be deleted or I will collect enough information to turn them into my next project. It would be nice to start on a fresh project since I've spent so long on OH and now am tied to writing the sequel. Not that I don't enjoy it but I'm feeling more in the mood for fluffy contemporary with cute settings, quirky girls, and guys who are both amazing and good looking than writing thought provoking science fiction.

On a random note, I was reading GTW today and Jill Williamson was covering the subject of writing a good love triangle, something that definitely needs to be addressed in today's writing/film world. I personally dislike love triangles with an intensity but considering my intense like for Asian dramas, especially of the Korean variety, I watch more things with love triangles than not. I thought she had some good advice on what to do and will definitely keep it in mind if I ever go crazy and decide to put one in my book *shudder*.

Write again soon. I meant to write earlier than now but it's been so crazy busy this week and I've spent a lot of time babysitting my niece. Hopefully this week will be a bit calmer...

Anna Leigh

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