Monday, September 4, 2017

The Editing Process

Debra is deep into edits, revisions, and rewrites.

It's been a long time since I've been so immersed in the editing process. I guess that's what happens when you haven't been writing for a long words on the page equals nothing to edit. LOL

But over the summer I really dug in and committed myself to finishing the first draft of my current mss. About midway through August I got to what, then, was THE END. It felt great. After a long dry spell, to have actually completed an entire full-length (65K) word mss was nothing short of miraculous.

I really thought I'd set the mss aside for a bit, what with heading back to work I really didn't feel like I'd have time to work on it. And as I mentioned in last month's post, I was still trying to figure out what to do with it. Where I was going to submit it. Then along came my local RWA chapter's 90 Words in 90 Days Challenge. #CN90wordsfor90days For me the Challenge is doing just what it was intended to do: get my butt in a chair with my fingers on a keyboard or with pen in hand each and every day.

With the long weekend (It's the Labor Day Holiday here in the States.), no major plans, and allergies that are keeping my indoors a good deal of the time, I cranked out over 100 pages of edits since Friday night. I got to the end of the mss yesterday afternoon. I edit in hard copy, printing out a copy of the mss and putting it in a binder, always with sticky notes, highlighter, and scratch paper close at hand.

Now, most of my pages look like this:

I'm in the process of transferring all of my written notes to the computer. Along the way I'm still employing plenty of sticky notes to mark sections needing a tweak or some added research. Last night I was so pumped up and motivated to keep moving that I got through about 80 pages of transfers. Sometimes it goes quickly. Other times trying to decipher the notes written any which way in the margins is quite difficult. And, once I've added lines to various pages, the page numbers no longer match those on the computer doc, so finding my place each time isn't always easy.

I also have notes, scribbled on anything I can find lying around when an idea strikes, tucked into the front and back pockets of the binder. I'm trying to keep everything in one place.

One thing I've discovered is I need to replace the notepad next to my bed. I used the last sheet of one a couple of weeks ago and could only find a tiny pad (like we're talking two inches by three inches) in the drawer the other night. Which, I've used several times when I was desperate to not forget something that popped into my head.

I've found several places where there are some fairly major gaps in the story. This is what happens when you're a pantster and, to top it off, don't always write chronologically. So, I definitely will be doing more writing to add to the story. I've also found places where the characters' actions and reactions aren't quite 'right' for a particular scene or moment, again due that whole writing-out-of-order thing I do.

All in all, I'm having a blast with this. It's really, really nice to feel like a writer again. And for the moment, I'm keeping up with work, other projects, and writing. Hopefully that will last. I'd like to say my goal is to have this done, polished, and submitted before the end of the year. That seems like almost too much time, but I really want to make sure this one shines, so I'm going to take my time with it and not rush to get it done. Which, at this point, is really hard to have the patience to do sometimes. I keep envisioning it all done and on the shelves. Whether that's cyber or real is still yet to be known.

Until next time,

Happy Reading (or Writing or Editing),



  1. Fabulous news, Debra. I think editing is fun, as well. So much easier than staring at a blank page and blinking cursor.
    Your dry spell is definitely over, and you're at an oasis with room service. (bad description, I know, but it was fun to write--especially if the server is a hunk.)
    Keep going! I am anxious to read this new story.

    1. Thanks, Ana. I am eager to keep it moving along as well and see it go the distance to publication. (Hopefully...I guess I shouldn't count chickens and all that...)

      And I'll take a double from the hunky server. :)

  2. Woohoo! That's fantastic. So glad you're continuing--and enjoying yourself. I've always found the word challenges, regardless of how many you're supposed to write each day, provide me much-needed discipline. Just making sure I write every day gets me in the groove. Good luck and keep going!

    1. Thanks, Jen. I'm having fun reporting my progress for the challenge each day too. It's really helping to keep me going.

      P.S. About three-fourths of the way done with "In the Moment"...loving it!

  3. So glad it's going well, Deb.
    What's the 90 words in 90 Days challenge? That's only 10 words a day!

    1. The challenge is to write at least 90 words each day for 90 days straight. Or edit one page. The idea isn't to accumulate lots and lots of words (although that's an awesome side-effect if it happens) but rather to sit and write - or edit your writing - every day. It's a habit-building challenge.

  4. Good luck with the edits. I'm glad its going well. I'm pretty much at the blank page stage just now.