The Editing Journey: The Past Four Months

You know what? Editing is hard. I only just learned that, too, because the first time I ever edited anything seriously was in December.

For having called myself a ‘writer,’ for such a long time, that’s pretty sad.

So here I am to step-by-step document the past four months of my editing adventure. (Plus the twelve very stagnant months in which I made little progress and lots of mistakes.)

It’s been interesting, that’s for sure.

TEJ Post 1

  1. I put my WIP, “The Sparrow Who Couldn’t Sing,” on another computer and then, painstakingly, read through each chapter. It was still sweaty, and covered in plot holes, remnants from it’s NaNoWriMo 2014 glory. The only thing I did was re-write random sentences, and check spelling. Not very productive, but still.computer slow keyboard typing email
  2. Throughout the summer, I sent the chapters off, one by one, to two of my friends. Luckily, they both still are alive and did not have their retinas burned out or their brains melted by reading my rough draft. Why I thought that sending my rough draft out was a good idea, I do not know.  
  3. NaNoWriMo 2015 was coming around the corner. So, in October, I abandoned any and all thought about TSWCS so I could plan and write a sequel to my messy, messy draft.Kermit Typing
  4.  But, midway through November I got this feeling. If I was going to bother writing a sequel, I had better do this. I was going to re-write TSWCS, and really pursue publishing. Once NaNo was over (and I took a short break to recuperate O_O) I started in on TSWCS again.Yoda – Do or Do Not
  5. My first step? I read through my hard copy again, and made notes on each chapter. My notebook pages were set up with a “things gained/learned” section and a “notes/things to change or add” section. Below that, I would summarize what happened in the chapter. From this I adjusted my timeline as needed, and wrote out a ton of little scene cards/chapter cards, which are still taped to the wall above my computer.
  6. I bought Scrivener using that lovely 50% off NaNo code, and set it up to view two documents at once. I organized my binder so inside each “chapter” folder there was the ‘old’ version and the soon to be “new.” Basically, I typed the old one into the new, adjusting, re-writing and adding new scenes as I went.  Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.14.44 AM
  7. But then, My hard drive failed. Whenever I opened my laptop this happened:  screen of death. Would flash between this and a question markThankfully, God seriously provided and I was able to get my laptop checked out, and purchase I new hard drive+RAM for it for less than it would have cost to send it somewhere.  I rebooted from a two-week old backup and braced myself for the worst: It was awful. I’d lost chapters and chapters of my work.  michael jackson can't
  8. But then, I looked a little closer. There were more chapters left than I’d thought! I think God really used that crash because A) I got to upgrade my hard drive and RAM by myself and now my computer is faster, and B) my “dark night of the soul,” chapter, I felt, wasn’t what it should be, but being a stubborn mule, I didn’t want to change it. This forced me rewrite it in a totally different way, since it was gone, and my story is better off for it.
  9. So at the end of March I finished. A month later than my plan, sure, but plenty of plot holes were patched and things were smoother…  If you’ve ever considered buying Scrivener, do it. It really helped make the process of: “Oh, that connects to that so I should change that…” a lot easier. Now my WIP makes slightly more sense than it did before. And it’s neatly organized.

Multiple Kips Yes!

So, probably not the most entertaining post. Since I’m still in the trenches of this second draft, I wanted some back ground to what I’ve already done before babbling about what I’m doing now, in the middle of this warzone.

Currently, I’m reading through it again and looking out for plot holes I might have missed. Perhaps then I’ll brave beta readers. Or *gasp* get my mother to read it.

Or perhaps I’ll just dig myself into a deep dark hole and never come out? Who knows.

Into the Abyss

Tell me, how did your first editing experience go? What things made it easier, or harder, for you to accomplish your goals?

 

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13 thoughts on “The Editing Journey: The Past Four Months

  1. I am editing the first half of my novel now and it’s all like ‘I love this but it sounds awful’ or ‘This sounds horrid how did I even write this’. It’s a love/hate thing for sure since I like editing but tearing apart my book is just like *insert annoyed chewbacca noises*
    I just collected a couple beta readers for when I’m done. I think it will be helpful.

    //hannah
    hannahrodriguezwriter.wordpress.com

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  2. OH OH GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR EDITING!! *flails wildly in encouragement* I am actually editing right now…although this is far from my first time. I think my BRAIN DIES every time I edit though, omg, it doesn’t get easier. I can whip out a first draft in a week….but editing takes me MONTHS AND MONTHS OF PAIN AND ANGUISH. I shall join you in that deep dark hole? hehe.
    But that’s awesome that your computer thing worked out…and I’m glad you didn’t lose your WHOLE book or anything. 0_0 That would’ve been terrifying and sad.

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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    1. Yes!! First drafts and NaNoWriMo are so nice and quick… yes you can join me in the hole. Just bring food.
      And I’m so glad about my computer. If I’d lost my manuscript? Don’t even want to think about it. O.o

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  3. I’ve never tried editing (never got that far looool), but it sounds strenuous! I’m glad it seems to be (slowly) working out for you, though!! And that gif at the end with the guy FLINGING himself into a bottomless pit is making me laugh. XD

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    1. It’s strenuous, but *so rewarding.* Ever so slowly I get to see the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and see my story become something better because of it.
      Glad you laughed– I have no idea what that guy thought he was doing 😳

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  4. OH MY GOSH this was actually super interesting. I love seeing into other people’s editing processes and ahh. *flails*

    WAIT. YOU… SENT YOUR ROUGH DRAFT TO FRIENDS? o.O Dude, I would be dead if I had to do that. xD Good for you. *high fives*

    Our editing journey is actually pretty similar? I finished my novel, edited it, wrote the sequel in November, and continued editing my novel… editing, editing, editing…. *goes crazy* This summer I hope to dive into the sequel edits. WHICH SCARES ME BECAUSE IT’S SUCH A MESS AND I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN MAKE IT BETTER AJKSL;FD.

    Oh well. Good luck! xD

    // katie grace
    a writer’s faith

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    1. *hive fives back* I sort of regret it, but I did recieve a smalliah amount of positive feedback out of it. That helped. 😅
      I wish you well for your sequel edits!! My sequel still needs a good structuring edit. I planned on reading through it in early April and re-writing for Camp NaNo…. it took all month to read and make legible.

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  5. Yikes! All the computer problems you had would’ve brought me to tears. But I’m glad everything worked out in the end and you were able to recover most of your work and come up with a new Dark Night of the Soul that you were proud of.

    And I second the “OMG you sent your first draft to readers?!?!” bit. I’m not questioning your decision – but it takes a lot of bravery to send a story out after that phase. My Draft #1 needed so much work that I couldn’t fathom letting anyone look at it. :S

    Draft #3 isn’t my first editing experience, but I don’t remember the previous one that well… But I’ve grown so much since then, and I *think* I have a better idea of what I’m doing this time. I’m hoping Draft #3 will be ready by the end of the year so I can send it to beta-readers in January – and finally start drafting something new!

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    1. Haha, I don’t know if it was bravery– I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing and just wanted somebody to look at it and tell me it was *that* stupid.

      I hope you reach your goal! I’m trying to get mine to betas this summer (hopefully in better shape than draft one 😉)

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  6. Wow. Lucky for you that you did get some of your chapter back! 🙂

    This post was interesting, because I haven’t gotten to the editing part of my story yet, but I gotta see yet another person’s editing process.
    I’m really dreading coming to the editing. I’ve heard so much about how terrible it is… *shivudder*

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    1. Don’t dread it. It’s not as worse as it sounds, one just must come at with the right face. Your story will most likely come out better than it went it. Plus you get to watch it come alive, and watch it become something amazing. 🙂
      Thanks for reading!

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