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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Not To Do When Editing

What Not To Do When Editing
1. Turn on Youtube for "a fifteen minute break."

2. Delete your entire harddrive in a moment of frustration (or an hour, or a day, or a year of frustration... there's a five year waiting period on deleting manuscripts).

3. Forget to save.

4. Blindly rewrite through the tears. Remember kids: always have a plan.

5. Query.


  1. Oh please tell me this is not from personal experience. Please, please.

  2. I haven't ever committed #2 or #5. I did come close on both. I deleted a whole draft of a novel once (recovered).

    When I finished my first novel I thought all I had to do was walk into an office and drop the printed copy on a desk. I was going to run spell check and be done.

    Never mind the MS was over 200k, completely unedited, rambled, and had serious comma issues. I was an author dadgum and someone wanted this book!

    A quick browse online and I found publishing blogs before I found street addresses. Thank goodness!

  3. Turning on anything for a "fifteen minute break" normally spells disaster for me. And yet, twitter calls... ;-)

    Whoever deleted the hard drive...dang. That's some serious frustration there. Ouch.

  4. You might add #6 Don't edit out your voice. I recently did this and the very personalized rejection bacically said there wasn't enough description etc and a result of that was emotional distance from characters during a time when they were feeling large amounts of frustration anger grief, etc.

    I fell into the trap of worrying about over describing, using too many adjectives, etc and my MS ended up sounding dry and unlike my voice. "Your style would be good for non-fiction" was mentioned. Um, no, not really. I over edited. Sigh. Back to the drawing board. PS. I've had those things happen to me (except its craft stuff for my uh, 15 minutes)

  5. Jamie - Twitter is so tempting... but I'm there just for the encouragement. :o)

    Leona- Oh! I'm guilty of #6! I spent a month editing a novella, sent it to my beta reader and she wrote back that I killed it. All that hard work fixing comma splices and editing for clarity, and the Voice was gone. It's frustrating. I shelved the project for a bit. It was the only solution for me.

  6. Whereas I, you see, am simply guilty of #7: Don't edit.

    Oops O:)

    (Well, I lie a little: I've edited shorts. Now I need to get butt into gear with the novels!)