Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Video & Editing

This week has flown by! If you notice I posted a new video on the right hand side of the page.  This one is for "Escape from Second Eden." This project, being my second, went a lot faster than the first. Four days total. It's amazing how quickly it went together...now that I know the program to produce it with.

The same thing goes for writing. You research and struggle as you write your first, second or maybe even your third book.  Editing it all into proper English grammar, making sure each line is supposed to be where it is, etc.  It's a process that takes forever or at least, it seems that way. But each time you correct your own mistakes you learn.  By learning the proper way to write, you become a better writer so with each progressive novel you make less mistakes in the beginning. As a result, each subsequent novel you write becomes easier to edit.

Writing is an art form. Whether it is blogging, journaling, writing nonfiction, fiction, article,or an essay. It is a creative process. I know you've heard practice makes perfect a thousand times or more in your life...I know I have. The same goes for writing. It is a learned process. Stop being so hard on yourself for not getting it right the first time.  Nobody ever does which is why publishing houses have editors. Everyone dreads the red pen process.A first, second or third draft is usually covered in arrows, strikeouts, and comments and even after all this and all is corrected...you are still making changes.

I call it tweaking a work to death. I'm a master at this. I'm never satisfied with what I write even when others say it's perfect. I look at the copy yet again. What's worse is I do it to everyone else I read too.  God help me! I can't stop! I reach a point in my own writing where I say enough...usually after a couple major rewrites and about the fifth tweaking pass, I put the whole thing aside for a week or so and work on something else. At this point I'm tired of reading the same thing over and over again.  No matter what you are reading or how exciting it is you start making mistakes and over looking mistakes at this point. It becomes like reading text books in high school, a boring, mundane act of reading. Put it away before you throw it away.

Okay, a couple weeks have passed. A lot of new ideas from the storyline you have been working on flows through your mind. You are recharged by writing something new. You have your zip back and you are bouncing with excitement. Now, is the time to bring out the copy you stuck in the drawer (file folder). Print it out double spaced lines. Now, one final time for this manuscript, and grab your red pen. Read and edit carefully. Then make the changes to your copy. This should be the final copy (not draft). You are done! Finish! Finito! Congratulations!

I spend quite a bit of time blogging about editing because all writers know their story. It's the mechanics which go along with the storytelling which trip most would-be authors up. Almost every agent and publisher out there online or publishing house stress the importance of editing well. In fact, I've seen this on every site on the web as a requirement before submission.

A word to the wise here, do not hire an English teacher to edit your novel. Hire a fellow author, join a writing/critique group, or some other outside source if you choose not to edit your book yourself. The main reason is an English teacher will make your grammar perfect, but you lose your voice. Teachers of English do not teach English because they love to write. Most teachers teach English because they love to read. I know I will probably take a few hits on this previous statement, but it's true. Very few English teachers are also authors. Your writing is written in your style. Dialogue is almost never spoken in perfect English. While your writing, when edited by an English teacher, will be grammatically correct.in all likelihood so will your dialogue.  Dialogue makes your characters come alive to the reader. More on dialogue in another post.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

1 comment:

Zan Marie said...

LOL, Jo! My sister is the English teacher who refuses to write because she knows she wouldn't be able to let the nits go. I'm still going to let her read to get an overall reaction. She's so talented at reponse to the story as a whole. BTW, she's the one who turned me on to Diana G.'s Outlander series...and I found the Forum...and all the rest. ; )

I'm just got to let the editor go back in the box and write the dang thing now. I do have trouble letting go and just writing the rough draft. Thanks for the post.