Friday, January 15, 2010

More on editing

Thanks yet again John for offering a decent topic to blog about. As always, dear reader, skim down and see what my fellow poster children had to say this week before you read my take on it.

I’m surprised how much John’s writing/editing style sounds like mine. Surprised because he seemed like such an intelligent, rational man. I, too, am a compose/edit/compose/edit kinda guy, but I’m amazed at his (relative to me) lighting speed. I plan on easily taking that long and I’m writing a 45K YA, not a 85K adult-focused novel. Like I’ve said (too many times), I know where I’m going in my books but, again like John, I think just a few scenes ahead of myself, sort of like headlights on a dark road. I know where I’m heading but I’ve got to be ready to react if something unexpected should pop up. And, earlier this month, that’s just what happened.

I was tooling along, trying hard to keep up to my speed limit (500 words+- a night) when this plot point jumped out from the shadows right in front of my story. I couldn’t slam on the brakes—it had taken me too long to work up to this speed and stopping dead now would mean even more problems. Swerving around it was out of the question. It was too big to miss no matter what I did. So, white knuckles and screaming, I ran into smack it. It did some damage to the lines of my story, but it turned out that it fit in the back seat quite nicely. I’m letting it ride along. For now anyway. Trust me, as soon as it starts complaining about the music or asking if we’re there yet, I’ll toss it out.

Now, hard copy or computer editing? I use the computer, a habit I picked up when we were living in Kuwait and a new toner for our printer was a month’s salary. Rose prefers hard copies and as she is my first and toughest reader, she gets hard copies. She says that a red ink makes it look like there’s blood all over the page so that’s why she uses a green pen. It may be Martian, but it’s still blood to me.

8 comments:

John Corrigan said...

Have you ever edited via hardcopy? And, if so, is the ms different when you do so. I find much of my best stuff comes when I'm scribbling additions to a scene in pencil on my hardcopy.

Vicki Delany said...

I used to edit on hardcopy all the time, but now that I have to pay for my own paper and ink, I use the computer only. I find that any different medium allows you to see the work with a different eye.

Rick Blechta said...

I remember hearing about an editing program that allows you to put an editing layer OVER your ms layer and edit happily away (in blue!) much as someone would do on a hard copy of a manuscript.

Trouble is, I only remember hearing about it. I don't remember what it's called.

I'm leaving now to do some "deep research" into the subject. If I don't return by Tuesday, call the President.

Dana King said...

My first several draft edits are on the computer, at least one of which is read aloud. The final is always hard copy, read aloud.

Charles Benoit said...

No matter how we do it, how many of us are still stunned by the simple stupid errors that sneak into the final off-to-the-publisher manuscript?

Vicki Delany said...

Yup. I always listen to the audio verion of my books one time through. I find several errors that no one picked up.

Donis Casey said...

After I've read - even read aloud - the same manuscript 100 times, I see/hear what's in my head, not what's on the page.

Rick Blechta said...

Everybody stay tuned, or tune back, in on Tuesday...