Editing Week Three

This week so far has been one of my most productive weeks all year. It’s summer, which means I don’t have to think about school and all the fun stuff that comes with it, and so I spent my first two weeks mainly goofing off and am now getting down to some serious business.

So, this week I’ve edited two and a half chapters of Moonshadow’s Guardian, and I’ve got the first chapter up for critique in two places. I’m participating in an online writing workshop called the Writer’s Circuit, where a number of youth and one writer in residence compare work. I’ve still got to read one more story this week, but I have the rest of today and all of tomorrow to do so.

The third thing that I’ve been doing is revisiting my ancient Squidoo page and working on my lenses. I’ve completely redone my Writing: My Passion lens and created a new lens called What Makes Terry Pratchett so Great? The reason why I decided to actually work on the lenses that I have and to create new ones for Squidoo is because I returned to find that my account-which lay unused for two years-had collected me a whopping three dollars.

That might not seem like a big deal to you, but that’s a huge deal to me. Back in the day I put up two lenses and got halfway through creating a couple more-the one I’m most excited to finish is about how to win Nanowrimo with extra words-and then I abandoned the site for two years. To the point that when I went to update my bio, it still said I was fifteen. Heh. I didn’t expect to find any kind of money there. Maybe a dollar. But three whole dollars gives me the hope that if I work my butt off this summer finishing the lenses I’ve started and making new ones, I might actually have some sort of income from the site. Even if it’s just twenty bucks a month, that’s more than I had before.

Two days a week will be devoted to reading and to creating or updating Squidoo lenses. Three will be devoted to editing and short stories, which I hope to write four of this summer-one every two weeks. My weekends are my days to spend to myself… or, should I say, with my boyfriend. There’s some overlap from day to day and blog posts happen on a novel day-just to make sure my editing stats are up to date-but overall my system seems workable. Don’t quote me on it though, it’s only been a week.

All of that said, I’d like to talk briefly about one of the hardest parts of creating a (I don’t want to say how many) new draft, especially when you have parts of it up for critique. That hard part is not going back and fighting with all the newly written and edited chapters. I did cheat and I did go back to fix the next chapters I’m putting up for critique, but I’ve forced myself to stop, leaving them in an all right but imperfect condition. Those chapters are going to go up for critique even though I know I can make them better, and I’m going to keep plunging ahead, because if I don’t make myself finish this draft, I never will.

Tomorrow I might quickly go over the next chapter I’m putting up for critique just to make sure it makes sense, but I’m not going to let myself get caught up in it for hours on end. I need to push ahead until I reach the end of this new draft, which might I say I am very proud of.

This draft is turning the novella back into a novel, which is pretty exciting for me. And it’s working out in all sorts of ways I couldn’t have imagined, even though somewhere along the line I lost all my notes. (I do mean all my notes.) I guess that’s just one of the joys of working with a really familiar story-I only need so many of my notes.

How is your editing going? What other writing projects are you getting excited about this summer?

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About Dianna Gunn

I am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.

Posted on July 8, 2011, in Editing, Editing: The Hard Part, Novels, Workshops, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I think sometimes losing your notes can be a good thing. Keeps them from bogging you down in no longer relevant details.

  2. Mom,

    That’s why I have old notes which aren’t used and current notes closer to the front of my now-missing binder.

    And I’ve been working on this book for 5 years, that’s a lot of notes to lose.

    ~Dianna

  3. Yeah, that is a lot of notes to lose.

    With recent events I’ve been reminded that sometimes a slash and burn approach to getting rid of the old is the only way you’re going to keep yourself from holding on to what needs to be let go. Much better if you can let go of a little at a time, less painful.

  4. That all depends on who you are and what you have to let go.

    • True enough. As I said to my Mom recently I prefer elastics being removed from my hair the way she does it. Just rip the damn thing out and get it over with.

  5. Greetings!

    Congratulations on the various areas of progress as reported … well … ex the notes loss which I am certain is felt as tragic. Whenever I lose notes, I always project onto them more than they might have been but not having them, I imagine I was brilliant. 🙂 Also – congratulations on the $3.00! Woo! Nothing like finding money! (I’m not sure how squidoo works but that’s par for the internet course …)

    How is your editing going?
    I’ve gone through 2 passes of my play now. I need to fix one relationship (a minor one but it doesn’t quite make the sense I need it to). And then – I think – I am sort of done? Well … it will be good enough for another round of printing, at any rate. So I’m well pleased.

    What other writing projects are you getting excited about this summer?

    Been thinking about pulling another character study out of the latest Nano and polishing it up for posting. For grins, as much as anything.

    I periodically consider what’s happened to Elgin and think I must get back to him at some point.

    My mother (?!) said something to me last week that I am sure to be able to build a play around. You know those pithy observations that you think … yeah, that’s so true. It’s completely generic – but it’s a brilliant log line. So I’ll have that mulling around in my brain.

    For the summer, I have some significant running events that I am training for. It’s double duty b/c the travel, training and events I use as fodder for Nano. Plus the time logging the miles gives me uninterrupted peaceful time to think and plot. Elgin is largely written “on the road” … so while it is not typical writing, I pretend that it is.

    I also have a couple of reading projects on the go – I have “discovered” steampunk and am trying to get a crash course in the good stuff. That’s a good deal of fun.

    Lastly – still doing my work blog. It’s one of the most satisfying things I do at work and I am receiving a lot of positive feedback about it.

    As ever – looking forward to your next post. Will let you know when a new one is up on my blog.

    Cheers!
    RP

  6. RP,

    Well after much searching I found the notes-which are pretty brilliant actually-so I only had to rewrite a couple things. My life has been very tiring and full of drama lately, although I manage to get through most of it with a smile-after all, I’ve got an awesome cat and an awesome boyfriend, what more could a girl want?

    Congratz on finishing a second pass at your script. I suppose editing scripts is faster than editing novels; I feel like this is taking forever. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished but I’d really like to be done with it sooner rather than later. I want to start on something else.

    I’m glad that you’re having fun with your work blog. Blogging should be fun, or it shouldn’t be bothered with. You shouldn’t write books or blog if you don’t enjoy it.

    I hope I’ll get to see more of Elgin soon. I’ve been very tired and I haven’t even gotten any more short stories written, though I wrote a great one a couple of weeks ago.

    Thanks for reading,
    ~Dianna

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