Sunday, January 8, 2012

For The Love of Editing

I was a little scared as I prepared to tackle this edit which had come as the result of one of my writing epiphanies. Two books, a combined 195k words. Yet I suddenly realized this part of my planned series should have been one book. 195k and the most I could possibly get away with would be 150k.

Yikes! What was I thinking?

Yet, being the writer I am, I began.

On my first major edit to this combined book, with eyes that have edited at least half a dozen more since I last opened these files, I was in shock. My editing eye has changed so immensely. Between normal editing and inspired cut-it-down editing I was able to knock off a good 20k! Where did that come from? Plus, I feel the writing is way better without the weight.

I'm in the middle of pass number two, and I've got to say, it's startling how much there still is to edit. What I'm finding doing these two edits in a row is that the voice is turning out to be more consistent cover to cover. My editing improved in the second half of the first pass and has carried into the first half of my second pass. As I go I'm feeling like my writing now matches my story. They are both tight, consistent, and polished. I love this story and it's finally being told as it should have been.

I'm more excited than ever to bring this baby out into the world. It feels whole at last.

Something I've learned about writing in this process? My editing eye is improving all the time. Practice really does make perfect, or at least a lot closer to perfect.

Have I mentioned that I really do love editing? Weird, I know!

6 comments:

kimmullican.com said...

I spend a lot of time editing, between my own work and trading with other writers for critiquing and such. It is a lot of work, but you get better at it with time. I see things now I didn't 3 years ago.

Good luck!

Melissa Crytzer Fry said...

I so wish I had the same love of editing that you do, Julie. As I realize the additional amount of work that my WIP needs, I am beginning to feel slightly overwhelmed. BUT, if I take it one section at a time, I'm confident I will get there. LIke Kim, I've been editing as I go, and have shared with crit partners. And I know there will be additional rounds. I just need to adopt your positive attitude about all those edits :-).

Jennifer Hillier said...

That feeling of wholeness is a beautiful, rare thing, and I'm so glad that's where you are right now. You've worked so hard!

I love editing, too. It requires more focus than at any other time, but when that's when the work begins to really shine. :)

Julie Geistfeld said...

Jennifer, Melissa and Kim,

Thank you for the great and supportive comments. It's an amazing thing to see how writers support each other on our journeys. It means a lot and I greatly appreciate it.

...now, off to edit more!

Christine Danek said...

Hi. Sometimes I love editing. Especially when you can see the progress. Congrats on your editing and good luck.

Julie Geistfeld said...

Hi Christine!
Thanks for stopping by and for the well wishes.
Editing done, now the real work begins. (More writing too.)