Editing, the bane of my existence

Discussion in 'Writing Workshop' started by Jinral, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

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    Hey guys, I seem to have an issue. I have written two novels, one of em was the one I posted on here. For those of you who read it you can tell the thing is i shambles and needs a lot of editing. The only issue is I tried editing it in my spare time, but it seems that it would take longer to edit than it did to write it. Any advice on methods you have used? Unfortunately it is not like my first one with a coherant story line, so majority of editing is rewrites rather than grammar and such. Oh also keep an eye out, Im working on a third novel and once I have some of it written down properly Ill begin to post em here. It is not like last time, written stream of thought, this one is outlined so it will be a more balanced story. As always thanks for reading!
     
  2. Herickson

    Herickson New Member

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    There are a few wonderful editing programs that you can find. They generally cost a bit of money, but are worth it. I use Grammar Expert Plus and it cleans things up very nicely.

    Another thing, most people have friends and family that are happy to edit their works. It really helps to have a primary editor that is not yourself. Writers are generally not able to edit their own works with the same level of quality that a separate person would. Me personally, I'm very close to what I write and though I have good grammar, I'll just skip over stuff that is obvious to someone that is sitting down with it new in front of them.

    Good luck,

    Herrick
     
  3. psychotick

    psychotick New Member

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    Hi,

    I agree, editing is a monstrous pain. But it has to be done. I usually just use word, and go through the work line by line. I don't error trap everything but I'm getting better. I also do searches on the most common of my mistakes, so might do a control F on then, and then start changing those that need to be changed to than. Same with the theirs / theres / they'res. But if you have someone in your family / friends who has a good standard of English, let them go for it. It's far easier to find mistakes in someone else's work then your own.

    Also, though it sounds a little cracked, read your work aloud to yourself, line by line. You pick up more errors that way then reading silently.

    Cheers.
     
  4. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    I have no idea what it's like to be a writer, but I thought authors always had editors (who work for a certain publishing house) who'd look over their works. If I was a writer and did not have one of those I'd surely ask family members or very close friends to read and correct what I've written. So far this has often helped me a lot whenever I've had to write academic texts. But again, I fear I absolutely have no idea about what the life of a writer is like. :/
     
  5. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

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    Thanks for your help guys, i really need to find one of my english major friends andsee if they'll help
     
  6. Brian Kittrell

    Brian Kittrell Author

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    I gave up on self-editing a while back. I hire an editor for all my current stuff and plan to for all my stuff going forward.
     
  7. San_Cidolfus

    San_Cidolfus Story Slinger

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    Editing is a necessary evil, and in this one's opinion, you should do as much of it yourself as possible. Editing is not just about fixing typos, it's the phase when you polish your work for the sole purpose of making it as lucid and direct as possible. A smooth, straightforward read provides a far more enjoyable experience for the reader, and that effect is honed in editing. Editing isn't fun, but it's part of being a writer. Just knuckle down and do it. Get a grammar guide and live with it in your lap if that's what it takes. You'll learn far more from doing it yourself, and editing will be easier in the future. Once your work polished to the best of your ability, then hand it to your English-major friends and see what they think.
     
  8. gumboot

    gumboot lorcutus.tolere

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    Ah editing, that task we love to hate. I agree it's essential; in fact I'd say it's the most important part of writing, and where the real writing happens. For technical editing (grammar, etc) I'd strongly recommend finding someone who is very good at language to do it for you. If you are going to try do it on your own, give yourself plenty of distance from the work before starting.

    I don't even worry about the technical editing, though. There's plenty of software that does that, and you're better off finding someone else to do it anyway. Story editing though, is the most important thing a writer will do. It can be tedious, but it's also where the magic happens. My only real advice is to be brutal. If something doesn't work, get rid of it.

    The first draft of my first book took about a year, part time, to write. That was fifteen years ago, and I've just finished it to a point I am happy, six drafts later. Looking back, those early drafts are so bad they're embarrassing. As you progress, however, you'll find your "voice" and be a much better writer. My fourth book will probably only go through two drafts before I'm ready to pass it on to my technical editor.