sorry for the silence in the “blog”-o-sphere. not that anyone reads this God-forsaken thing. except you, Malaysian peeps. i don’t know who you are, but glad to have you aboard.
anyway, took a few days off from the blog for the holidays, but i was not idle. no, i was busy editing.
i think every writer should be able to edit their own work. just don’t depend on your editing skills for the final draft. editing your own work can be very difficult, which is why i think it’s important to learn. more important to learn is how to be critical of your writing, to look at it through different eyes.
my wife and i spent much of the last week reading through the novel i’ve been working on for, geez, seven years. i “finished” it in the Fall of 2012 and let it sit for a year, as i think all writing projects should. okay, not all writing projects need to sit for a year, but something like a novel should.
then, this Fall, i cracked it back open and read it aloud with my wife’s critiques. she doesn’t hold back, which is one of the many reasons i love her. she doesn’t hesitate to say what doesn’t work, what she doesn’t like, and what needs to be changed.
sometimes this means more work. i completely re-arranged and re-wrote several detailed sections in one chapter because she mentioned the lack of fluidity and said she struggled with the chapter as a whole.
sometimes it means hurt pride. i had to completely take out an early section that i loved because she said it was boring and slowed down the pace, and because it was so early in the book, would cause readers to lose interest. i had to admit she was right – so though i loved my writing in that section, it said farewell.
and sometimes it means recognizing how dumb you are. there are things my wife didn’t mind but that i noticed and decided to change because i saw problems or inconsistencies i had not noticed last time i had read it. and sometimes there were just flat-out mistakes in speling, and grammer at;
but we are finished reading it now, though, so now my job is to go back through the entire thing, change, edit, re-work, recycle, re-etc. until i’m pleased with the finish product.
and then i’ll send off several electronic copies to several people. i’ll probably send three copies to other writers that i know and trust the opinions thereof, and the fourth copy will go to a friend who is also an editor. but not such a good friend that they won’t hesitate to let me know what needs work still.
on the plus side, my wife said the novel is the best thing she’s read by me. but that’s not saying much since she’s hated everything else. okay, not entirely true. but it was good to know, because she doesn’t really like fiction in general, so for her to say she enjoyed it actually means a lot.
so forgive me if my posts become infrequent in the near future – editing is taking up a lot of my time as my goal is to get the novel passed off to my writer friends by March of 2014. we shall see.