"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Editing - it's not for wimps

I've started the first round of editing of Murder On The Hoof. How many rounds are there, typically? It depends. I always have five editing steps.

1. Sweeping read-through where I get rid of my go-to words and do clean up work.

2. One read-aloud, where I re-work sections that sound really good in my head and really bad in my mouth.

3. One read-aloud into a digital voice recorder, where I play it back and just listen to what needs to be re-worked.

4. One analytical read-through, where I outline what I've written and look at the pacing and structure.

5. One read-through to verify that all my edits were successful.

I can have several rounds of each step, so it can be a long process.

Murder On The Hoof will take a lot of editing. So much of it came so quickly, I'm finding wacky things, like photos that were supposed to have been taken by someone who is already dead. (No, there will be no zombies in this novel.)

Plus, as soon as I typed THE END I knew I would have to go back in and add a week to the timeline (it will be abbreviated). After creating a fictional horse show that is two weeks long so I could use some already-expedited forensics tests, I wrapped the whole thing up in the first weekend.

Yeah, that can't happen.

After my editing, I'll be soliciting my beta readers. Who to chose...


kabell4 said...

OH! I've never been a "beta reader" before!!! Can I be one??? Can I??? or ... should I say, "May I be one??? May, I?"

S. A. Stolinsky said...

I love every thing you've said and I do that too. An ex-friend of mine's father was an award winning playwright and she concurred. It's wonderful to come up with this stuff all by yourself and then find out others are dong the exact same thing!!! Yes! I'm always afraid I'm wasting my time with it, but I'M NOT! Thank you.

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