Thursday, June 26, 2014

Re-editing: A Seemingly Never Ending Journey

I did it. Faced my fears and dived right in. I opened up Only Human, my first completed 115,000 page novel and got to it.

Two days later, with tired eyes and increasingly large dark circles, I'm starting to feel the worth.

I've known ever since Christmas Eve when I first posted my book on Amazon that another edit at some point in the future was an order. I had a deadline - getting it done in time to be a Christmas gift - and I made it. Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice some things along the way.

Up until a year and a half ago, writing had been a casual hobby. I told friends and acquaintances I wanted to be a writer but past that, I had no expectations and very little knowledge about what it entailed. Even today, I'm not sure I understand the full extent.

Being a writer for me isn't something I can do five minutes a week and expect good results. It's not cathartic or relaxing - a way to get my thoughts out there. It's hard work. Rewarding work when you can sit back and admire your project but hard!

I don't like to use big words (please ignore my use of the word cathartic :) but I tend to ramble. A lot. Reading OH after the merciless editing/deleting I've been doing on my novella was like watching a horror film. Every two paragraphs I wanted to scream and cover my eyes. I put Only Human out there, believing it's a good story. I still believe it's a good story but my 'diamond' is surrounded by a ten foot layer of rock, making the beauty difficult to admire. Editing is my jackhammer.

The first thing I noticed is my habit of over describing. Three to four sentence paragraphs were used to describe locations or random thoughts of my MC and I had multiple uses of three to four commas in a sentence. YIKES!

I didn't want to do my find and search of the words 'like, that, was,' and 'there', knowing it would be painful. I started with 'that', coming up with a whopping 1567 times. I'm at 295 now but I'm hoping to get it down even more. I started on 'like' today but my starting point was 525 or something so it should take less time. I'm sure 'was' will be in the two thousands - I overuse it a lot!

A few scenes read stiffly which I'd felt in my initial release but hadn't had much time to remedy. Now's the time for book surgery! I have to be daring and dive in!

I haven't worked on my novella in over a week and should get back to it before I get to caught up in OH. It's a cute little story and with a few more changes, I'll be pretty proud of it.

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