If You Think Writing is Hard – You’re not Editing Enough
I had planned to contact an editor this week. It took me a day to find the link to the editor I had found earlier and wanted to try. Note to self; I got to get more organized.
The next day I had to get ready for a writers/critique group meeting. So most of the day was spent doing a quick edit of the manuscript. I had the washing machine running the whole time along with anything else I could multitask at the same time. Unfortunately the bed will not make itself or the the dishes wash themselves.
In the first paragraph I started finding simple things that were wrong, things I should have found a dozen edits ago. Now, I have not worked on the manuscript while I was on vacation for a week and a half. But it was crazy at the things I was finding. In two days I went through the whole manuscript. All 170 double spaced pages. It’s 10 point type too, so it’s 64000 words. It’s on the short side but it’s a novel.
The morning before the writers meeting I printed the manuscript out. A quick read and I started to trip over error after error. As much as I have worked on the computer, when it’s on paper it looks different and I find things. So I started to read the paper version out loud. I’m already hoarse from reading it out loud off the computer screen.
I only get two and a half chapters marked up before the meeting.
So I hand the manuscript over. I have great expectations. I put a lot of work into the last three edits. It reads (out loud) well. The red ink flows. She hasn’t seen the manuscript in two weeks and it’s getting a fresh set of eyes treatment. This is too long. This isn’t the right words. You know the drill. The manuscript couldn’t be any better, but it could.
There was on bright spot out of this mess. I got a comment that my hand written changes were very good. Now I got to crank them in and continue editing and reading out loud from the print out the other 14 chapters.
Later this week I will contact some editors. At least I will have a better manuscript to send them for a sample edit and when I chose an editor I will have a much better manuscript to send her.
Remember: don’t waste your talent, edit.
Remember: Set your readers world on fire. Your pen is the match, your words the gasoline.
Stay strong, write on, and print it out and edit some more.
Professor Hyram Voltage
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