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Author Topic: The Joy of Edits  (Read 3454 times)

Offline wakarimasen

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The Joy of Edits
« on: August 11, 2015, 02:53:24 PM »
Editing has always been something of chore for me. Something to get through quickly, to remove errors.
On my current wip though I've gone a longer time on it and been through lots more edits.

I reached the point where I didn't even know if it was a coherent story any more. Normally I stop at that point for fear of "over fiddling". This time I pushed on through and actually now find myself having a novel experience (pun intended).

I'm actually excited about the edits. I'm rewriting bits and impatient to go back earlier and make changes to other stuff that really strengthen character and plot.

Nobody told me that you could actually be excited about editing and enjoy it almost as much as the original writing. Therefore I though I'd share it with your guys, see if you feel the same (as either I do now since pushing through, or as I did then when I used to get bored).

Offline SugoiMe

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 03:57:48 PM »
I love the editing stage! My rough draft is just a skeleton, and though it's fun to write, it's even more fun putting life on those bones. So yeah, you're not the only one. :D
"And then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

Offline JRTroughton

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 04:15:50 PM »
I enjoy tinkering on a sentence or paragraph level and get a great kick out of battering a sentence into the right shape. Editing on a wider scale is something I find tough.

I find it hard not to write a relatively edited first draft though. I can't move on until a section is at least reasonably good (IMO).

Offline JMack

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Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 04:58:51 PM »
Having never completed anything longer than 1,750 words, I find a huge temptation to keep re-starting the first part of my WIP to fix things people point out. Just moving on to the rest without fixing that is giving me the heeby-jeebies.
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Offline wakarimasen

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Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 05:41:30 PM »
get it down @Jmack - I'm surprised you're guilty of that... trust me, you can't get the first bit right until after you've written the last bit.

get it down...

Offline JMack

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Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 05:52:24 PM »
get it down @Jmack - I'm surprised you're guilty of that... trust me, you can't get the first bit right until after you've written the last bit.

get it down...

just need friendly pounding on my back to push me forward  ;) ;D
which i'm getting
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
www.starlit-lands.com

Offline JRTroughton

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 05:54:36 PM »
get it down @Jmack - I'm surprised you're guilty of that... trust me, you can't get the first bit right until after you've written the last bit.

get it down...
Not sure about that. The first part of THE NOVEL I've been working on is perfect. It's taken a few revisions, lots of words taken out, put back in, whirled around, turned upside down and jiggled around, but it's just right now. Spoilered for those interested.

Spoiler for Hiden:
The magician sighed.

It was a few thousand words but I've taken out the ones I wasn't happy with. This. Is. PERFECT. Don't tell me it's not. Don't you dare suggest I CHANGE ANOTHER DAMN WORD.

Offline cupiscent

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2015, 01:39:08 AM »
Heh. I am reminded of Camus' The Plague, in which a character has been writing the first paragraph of his novel for most of his life.

I love editing, and I love big-picture editing. Which is not to say it's easy. But even when I'm rolling on the floor in a puddle of jumbled-up scene cards crying, "It's all broken and I suck," that just makes the victory when I do untangle that plot spaghetti all the sweeter.

It's the line-editing that aggravates me. Why can't it all just fall into perfect formation when I finally get the skeleton structure and character arcs beautifully lined up? ;)

Offline DDRRead

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 09:55:17 AM »
Having never completed anything longer than 1,750 words, I find a huge temptation to keep re-starting the first part of my WIP to fix things people point out. Just moving on to the rest without fixing that is giving me the heeby-jeebies.

I'd be wary about taking feedback on a project I was actively working on. I wouldn't really want to be second guessing and doubting myself whilst on the first draft. I want to be as free and uninhibited as possible writing the first draft. That said, I might have to do that so I have something to feed the crit group every fortnight.  :o

Back to the OP . . .

I had a similar sort of discovery when I realised I really like rewriting and that's where my story starts taking shape and I start having fun. I like dreaming up a story, sometimes planning one can be fun too, but I find getting that first draft down to be a major chore. 

Although it can be daunting knowing that the actual hard work is only just beginning and the finished story is still a long, long way from being anywhere near to finished, once I start rewriting whole sections, crossing out whole lines and paragraphs, seeing where a plot element or character arc needs to be tweaked, where the premise can be strengthened the theme heightened, that's where it starts to be fun for me.

Offline CameronJohnston

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 03:55:05 PM »
It can be so much fun to edit. Getting that magical change that somehow manages to make the scene flow is a great feeling. Takes a while to learn HOW to edit though. My latest novel has been through multiple rounds of edits and come out better and stronger each time. Its a good feeling to look back and recognise the improvements.

The Traitor God & God of Broken Things

Offline night_wrtr

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2015, 06:54:57 PM »
I enjoyed editing until I accepted that my story was too far gone. It was dead. No amount of editing was going to bring it back to life. The good news is that I took the scraps left over from a butchering edit and wove them into a new story that I spent far more time outlining than necessary.

Editing taught me a ton of lessons about actually writing a story. One of those lessons: Start with an ENDING! Ugh.

Offline Sir Gawain

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2015, 03:21:24 PM »
Editing is a horrible habit. I find myself editing even as I write. Well, mostly it's because I have this weird tick where I remember how many times I've used a word in the last page or so. It's not really photographic memory (though I used to rock exams after studying 30 min :P). It's just remembering exactly what I've written. I try not to use the same sentence structure multiple times unless doing so for emphasis. At this point it's not even a conscious effort. I just get the feeling I'm writing something that doesn't quite sound right and I end up restructuring the sentence. I've been told by a friend that doing these kind of "edits" is slowing me down.

I usually spend more time editing other people's papers, letters, and blogs than I do writing. And lately I've just been chopping up what I've written the past three years and tweaking it. I've mainly been taking out the erm...overly romantic...pieces that the story could do without. It's hard to stop editing once you actually start. I sort of wish I had waited or hired someone else to look at it.  :P
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 06:44:20 PM by Sir Gawain »

Offline SugoiMe

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2015, 05:36:37 PM »
Well, as fun as editing is, there are those scenes and/or chapters that just make me want to pull my hair out and stop working on it.  But then I look at one of my favourite chapters and it calms me down, makes me appreciate what I'm doing and want to continue trudging through that difficult chapter.
"And then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

Offline YordanZh

Re: The Joy of Edits
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 06:24:38 AM »
It's a "Love/Hate" type of thing for me. I generally dislike doing it, because I'm kind of a perfectionist and I've already edited the initial draft a lot upon writing it. At the same time, few feelings beat that of a perfectly edited phrase, that's just dancing before your eyes. It's silly actually - I can be happy for an entire day just for tweaking several words in a sentence... :P