Monday, December 12, 2011

The Big Edit

Since I'm in the midst of editing a manuscript that I truly enjoyed writing I have been searching for tips about editing everywhere. Last week I came across this blog post over at Kidlit.com. As I was reading I saw myself in both of the authors mentioned. I have had those moments where I have written something that I truly love and instead of making big changes I have done the "tinkering revision." I have also had those moments where I've done a huge edit and changed a lot, but somehow still walked away with some of the same problems on the page that were there before.

In the blog post, Mary Cole, says, "unless you make big changes, a revision isn't worth doing." As I read that comment in bold letters in the blog I thought, Well duh! Yet, at the same time, I know I'm guilty of not doing those big revision and, therefore, wasting time editing. I spent forever editing Midnight Raynne. I made enormous changes to the plot during my first round of edits. After that, the edits fell short of being big and looking back now, they were a waste of time. Maybe that's what got me burned out on the story. I have shelved Midnight Raynne for now, but when I pull it back out I hope that I am able to step back and see the big picture and what needs to be done.

Here in the present, though, I need to get my act together on Barely There. My goal is to have it out to Beta readers in either March or April. I would love to have it to the point that only small changes need to be made. I don't want the reader loosing interest or thinking why is this here. This all means that I need to make the big revision now. It's these kinds of edits that I'm going for now. Maybe this is why I've spent the past week going over three chapters so much. I refuse to go on until I'm sure that the chapters are in great shape.

I'm looking at everything from voice, dialogue, character, purpose, wording, the whole shebang of possible quirks I know I have is being ripped apart in those chapters. This kind of editing elicits several feelings in me, it's invigorating, exciting, daunting, and just down right overwhelming at times.

Your Turn -> Do you find yourself doing the "tinkering revisions" or are you the type that makes huge revisions? Are you like me, do you find yourself doing a little of both?

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