Posts Tagged With: editing

Moving!

I hate it, loathe it. I don’t like boxing up my life and having it unavailable to me for the days and even weeks that it can take to move into a new place, even if it is just across town.

It also means I need to go through everything I own and downsize. Even if I end up in place the same size or bigger, the thought of moving all that stuff makes me cringe. And while I don’t think I’ve gained a huge amount of things in the nearly six years I’ve been in my current abode, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be moving into a much smaller space, which means stuff I probably should have gotten rid of in the last move, definitely have to go this time around.

What I dislike the most is having to go through my books. While I don’t buy as many as I used to since I started working in a library, they still have a tendency to gather on my shelves and in boxes.

I have to be honest, I’m not one for rereading books, except in the case of research material. I have only reread two books in my life, the first being Ender’s Game which I reread so I could write a paper on it for a college class on literary criticism and Across Five Aprils which I read in seventh and then again in eighth grade. It was the first repeated book report I did, but I had to reread the book because both teachers had different ways they wanted book reports done. Not to mention that at that age I was reading a good three or four books a week, so, a book I had read a year before wasn’t exactly fresh in my mind.

Another thing that I hate having to go through is stuff from my childhood. A lot of it has sentimental value, but the reality is that I don’t use it anymore and with no plans for having children (because that would generally require having at least a boyfriend and then hopefully getting married first), a lot of that stuff may never get used again. Admittedly, I’m also a bit of a pack-rat, so I have a lot of things with neither sentimental value or usefulness in my life.

All this means I’m going to have to sit down and really look at the things I’ve collected in my life with a critical eye. Much the same way I need to look at my writing when I edit. Do I really need this item/scene? Does it serve a purpose? Will I use this later? What can be removed without being missed?

These are just a few of the questions I have to ask myself. And more will come as I get deeper into my packing and sorting and as I learn more about editing.

What things do you ask yourself when you are getting ready to move or edit your writing?

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Shifting into Overdrive.

I’m not talking about the e-book distributor or cars, I’m talking about myself.

Over the next two weeks I’m going into overdrive on my edits. I’ve got two complete novels (though not my only two “complete” novels) that I really want to finish editing and I’m hoping that I can finish this round of edits by the end of May. Which means I’ll be spending a week on each one.

Whether or not I’m successful in that venture, I’ll be extremely happy if I can at least get through one of them in the next two weeks. This is because I really want to get to the point in the next couple of months where I’m ready to start querying agents.

I’m sure that I’ll go through each of the novels at least a few times before I even start drafting query letters, but it means that I need to buckle down and spend less time working on new material and more time focusing on getting the old material up to snuff.

Do you have any projects you are really excited about finishing?

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Dear Friends and Acquaintances,

I appreciate that you love your family and want to help them out in these hard times. But remember, they are hard times and I’m not even a professional writer, much less gainfully employed. I work in the public sector, part-time. I barely make enough to live on, much less pay someone to read and edit my writing.

So, I’m sorry to say, I will not be employing your, also non-professional, editor sister/brother/mother/cousin/uncle/etc/etc. It’s great that they have an English/Journalism/Creative Writing/Etc Degree (or in some cases only working on them). But I also have a BA in English and a Masters in Library and Information Science. I read, write, and breathe books daily.

I also have a great group of writerly friends, thanks to NaNoWriMo, who are eager to read and critique my work in return for the same favor from me. No money will change hands here. Instead, we will be meeting twice a month to critique various group members work and twice a month to just hang out and write together.

If I am ever going to pay someone to read and edit my writing, I will be sure they come well vetted. No offense to your wonderful family member, but I want to make sure that I’m actually going to get what I’m meaning to pay for, rather than paying blindly for something that could be nothing close to what I need. I know it can be a vicious cycle, it’s hard to break into the business without credits but you also can’t expect to get paid with out any either. Sometimes people just have to start at the bottom and work their way up.

But all that aside, let me be completely honest, the only time I would pay someone to edit my work would be if I was going to go into self-publishing. And that’s not the direction I’m trying to head. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll want to stake out on my own, but I want to start first with traditional publishing. Anyone can self-publish, but not everyone can get a book deal.

So, please, don’t ask me every time you see me if I’ve got any work for your dearest loved one. Because I don’t and I probably never will. I wish I could say I was sorry, but I’m not. Instead I find that you are putting me in a horribly awkward position in which you are asking me to pay someone who isn’t a professional in my journey to enter the world of professional writing.

You wouldn’t pay the brother of your friend/acquaintance who has never even looked under the hood of a car, but only read picture-less books about fixing them, to fix you’re only mode of transportation to work, would you? Your loved one might read books everyday, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be any good at editing them. You see, I’d rather have someone, who looks at books with a critical eye because that’s also what they want to do, critique my work for doing the same thing for them than pay someone who only reads for pleasure outside of school.

Sincerely,
Your writerly friend/acquaintance, Emmie.

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Update!

It has been nearly a week since my last post, so I think I’m definitely overdue for a post.

It has been kind of weird not posting everyday, but because I’m doing a daily free write through 750words.com, I almost feel like I am blogging everyday. When I take a nap in the middle of the day (part of NaNo recovery), I wake up and think, Oh no! What time is it?! But luckily so far, I’ve always managed to drag myself to the computer with at least 30 minutes to spare and get the words out. And since I’m a pretty fast typer (I seem to be averaging around 80wpm), it means I only need about 9 minutes to get in all 750 words that are the goal on the site.

While I haven’t necessarily been doing the kind of writing I want to lately, I’m at least forcing myself into writing everyday, which is what I really want. I want to create a habit and stick with it, even if what I’m writing is just a bunch of random thoughts that are occurring to me as I go along. But, once I start thinking that I really have a habit established, then I might try and focus my free writes a little more through the use of word prompts. The idea being that I get a random word and then type whatever comes to mind when I think about it. This kind of writing, will hopefully, produce more story like elements that I can reuse elsewhere. It’s actually how I used to warm-up for NaNo during October, especially if I wasn’t really sure what I was going to write about yet.

That all aside, I will report that I spent five, yes five, hours editing my werewolf novel yesterday. That put me about two-fifths of the way through what I have in the original document. And I’ve been transferring it into Liquid Story Binder as I go through each section and break. That way I can have each scene in a separate file so that later I can go back and more easily rearrange things because I have everything more broken down now. And I have to say that the more I work with Liquid Story Binder the more and more I’m liking it. I’m really glad that I decided to spend the money on it. And, if you’re interested, it is currently still 50% off for a grand total of $22.98! Not bad, right? Go check it out here!

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