Editing is not fun

I just read a blog where the author of the blog said that editing is fun for her and should be fun for you. Someone should lock this person up, for their own good and ours.

Writing can be fun. You enter a world where things happen, it’s not boring and if it is you can
fix it. In your story the hero can win, impossible odds can be over come, there is hope.

Editing is murder. Premeditate murder. You go out looking for your darling and you kill them. And you’re told this is good. Readers want you to do this. It’s like your the victorious gladiator standing over your fallen opponent and everyone giving you the thumbs down, like it’s a good thing. Your opponent is your friend, your relative, your baby.

Editing is hard work. I have found myself cleaning the bathroom to get out of editing. I hate cleaning the bathroom, and it’s been really clean the last couple of months.

I feel really good after I finish an edit. For about a day until someone, or I, finds a bunch of errors that slipped through the edit and all the previous edits. Then I go back and do another full edit.

Some editing is mechanical. I have list of works that I misuse. Another list of words that remove so I don’t sound any dumber than I am. “Literally” I’m looking for you. I have another list of words that I spell correctly, but the dyslexia flips the letters around and I cannot see that they are the wrong word. It’s a big list and “form” in place of “from” happens the most often.

I use Autocrit a lot. And it doesn’t like the previous sentence.

I use my critique group a lot. They have read my book several times and they still like it. I got something here, a real book. Each time they review a chapter again they make less corrections even for parts that I have heavily rewritten.

I worry about word count and that is a big reason I hate cutting out material. I have a self imposed limit that the book has to be a minimum of 50,000 words. I struggle to make that limit. For years I struggled to write short stories and screen plays with serious page or word count limits. Now I can’t write long stories.

When I edit, I will delete large passages from my book. Those passages sing to me. They’re my darlings. Those passages are some of the best writing I’ve ever done, and I’m not a very good writer. But like the Beta Readers and critique group says, it don’t work, it don’t belong. So I get out the steam powered Gatling gun eraser and they’re gone. Well, at least for this book. My darling always leave like General MacArthur leaving the Philippines, saying, I shall return.

So editing is something I do, but I don’t like it, and I’m not turning my back on anyone who says they like self editing.

Stay strong, write on, and get out your red ink loaded Gatling gun and edit.
Professor Hyram Voltage

Don’t be a Lonely Writer


Writing can be lonely. It’s just you and your thoughts. Those thoughts can be a world or a universe full of people, but they are all in your head.

The other day I was barreling down the highway on the  way to a meeting of my critique group. John Tesh was on the radio and he sited a study that promoted reading books. He said the study indicated that reading a book took you into the book world and it reduced loneliness in the test subjects.

So if you’re feeling lonely read a book. If nothing else it will give you something to talk about. Post a book review on good reads and see if you can find someone that felt the same way about the book as you did. Maybe you’ll find someone that feels the opposite way about the book. You might start an argument or, at the worst, you might find a new friend.

As an author you should have heard many times that you need to read or read more. Reading is a good source of ideas. Adds style to your writing. Exposes you to new things and takes you out of your comfort zone.

Stay strong, write on, and read a book.

The Roomba and the Writer

What does a Roomba and a writer have in common? Something that is way out of a writers comfort zone, advertising.

In a ZDNet article dated June 15, 2018 Colin Barker mentioned that in 2003 the iRobot company built 250,000 robots. After black Friday 2003 they still had 210,000 robot in the warehouse.
Sales did not grow like they did on the previous year. Management was in a panic.

Why didn’t they sell more robots? They didn’t advertise, and here is the key point that the author made, and advertise at specific events. Word of mouth was good at first but it wasn’t enough.

The same goes for your book. You have to advertise, and you have to advertise where your readers are looking. Think of it as advertising on a billboard and the billboard is along side a desert highway that no one travels. If no one sees the billboard then it doesn’t matter what genre you write in, no one will see your add.

There are a lot of books out there. More and more books are published every day. If a reader of your genre wants to read a book like yours, where will he find out about your book? There are many people that will help you market your book. Show you where to advertise your book. But they will only help, you will still have to do the work.

You’re going to have to do something that big companies don’t always get right and that is effective advertising.

Good luck, and let me know what works.

Stay strong, write on and advertise.
Professor Hyram Voltage