Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh Editing, you sweet siren of defeat!

Word of the Day: ameliorate - to make better; to improve.

Editorial Ass had a great blog last week on the excrutiating pains joys of editing a book for publishing. Many of the subsequent comments on the post were from the published and unpublished alike re: their own experiences with editing. Some of the commenters were editors, many were the writers themselves. I think this is a problem that is (mostly) unique to the publishing industry. There are very few industries out there that require their employees to endlessly revise 200+ pages of documents, line by line, word by word, looking for the imperfections large and small. A character underdeveloped here, a period out of place there, a word misspelled here, a plot hole the size of the Grand Canyon there. Round and round (and round and round and round) they go, editor to author to editor to copy editor to wonder it takes so long to get the durn thing published.

Nevermind getting it written. I am in stage one of my second manuscript (meaning I'm still writing it), and while I was doing editing on the first one I got so sick of it I had to walk away. I'm glad I did, now, because the improvements my writing skills have seen on this second WIP made me realize how imperfect my first one was (not bad, let's not hate, just imperfect). But I'm dreading the editing stage of WIP 2.0. My partner in crime bravely reads each chapter as I finish it, and he seems to enjoy it for the most part, but because I know I have an audience I go back and edit each chapter as it's done. Mostly I'm looking for things that will embarrass me, like typing there when I mean their or the when I mean they (I do that more times than I'd like to admit), but I'm also looking to see if the last 3,000 words or so that I've written sound like monkey crap. Which sometimes they do, and I laugh and I rewrite them. But even on those brief forays into my previous writing (and this is fresh writing!) I am dragging. I was never that kid who double checked their answers on a test, although I probably should have, and I kind of feel that way about editing a WIP.

I'm worried I'll get bogged down in the editing stage on this next one, too, once I get to it. Perhaps I should chance the ridicule of typing "tha tits" when I mean "that it's" and just hand it over to the shredding crew.

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