Sunday, July 22, 2012

Edit? Do I Have To?

As I'm sure many of you know, I have a very detailed process on how I do my planning.  I brainstorm, and make character bibles.  I compile cast lists and make floor plans for most of my settings.  I have entire plots set out before I even consider started chapter 1.  It's just the way I write.  A lot of people think of a new project and jump in, losing themselves in the story.  While I've tried this before, I prefer getting my revelations about the book before I start.  That doesn't mean that everything goes according to plan when I'm writing, but I think it definitely helps.  I don't generally have to go back and make huge corrections to anything.

This works for me.  I love this routine.  In fact, planning is probably my favourite part of the writing process.  I also enjoy the writing, of course, but I think I actually prefer the planning part to the writing part.

Editing, though, is another matter altogether.  I'm sure I've mentioned it enough here for everyone to know that I hate the entire thing.  I hate having to go back over work that I've already done to make sure that it's right.  I hate having to acknowledge how bad a scene I thoroughly enjoyed writing is.  I prefer to live in a fantasy world, thinking that my first drafts are fantastic.  That no one has ever written a first draft as good as mine.

Unfortunately for me, I don't really have a choice in this one.  As a writer who hopes to be published, editing is essential to my chosen career.  So I sit down and force myself to do the editing.  I've even tried to not complain about it so much, because I really do need to suck it up.

The problem, though, is that I don't have a routine for editing.  I print the book off, and I just read through it.  That's it.  There's nothing there that keeps me interested in what I'm doing.  I don't have a way to get myself through it, like my planning.  I didn't always like planning, but I do now that I have a way I like to do it.  Maybe that's what I need to do with editing.

I just don't know how to start that routine.  I need to figure out a way to start going through my work without hating what I wrote.  Or maybe without questioning every single decision I made.  Anything to make it so that I no longer feel like I'm just redoing work I've already done.  To stop myself from banging my head against a wall.

Right now I'm sure I'm missing things that I could be fixing on the first run through, because I go through it so quickly.  I don't want to stop and think about it, I just want to get it polished before I get completely frustrated or bored with the process.

So far I haven't come up with anything, unfortunately.  I am, however, planning a trip to the bookstore in coming days, and I may just find myself buying a book or two on how to edit.  And if anyone has any tips of their own they want to share, I would love to hear them.

Before the year is out I'm going to find a way to edit that doesn't make me hate the entire process.  I just hope it's sooner rather than later...

***I'm currently collecting donations for OLL (Office of Letters and Light).  The organization that first conceived of NaNoWriMo and runs it every year.  I've personally donated $300, but I'm hoping to make it to $500 and would love some help with my goal.  The link is on the left side bar.  I'm trying to come up with something for incentive, but have yet to think of a good reward.  I would love to hear from you on what you think I could do.***

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