Monday, April 19, 2010

In Which I Interrupt My Revision

Well lookee lookee. It's Monday again. How great. I need like 6 months off from work. I think I'd probably spend the first half of that just trying to catch up on sleep.

I took a short break with my revision schedule this weekend. I'm still not quite done with reading through each scene and writing down larger aspects that need to be added/removed etc. But I put that aside to begin some line edits of chapter one.

I want to clean it up a bit before I submit it to Chimera Critiques so I don't look like a huge hack who can't type properly (soooo many typos...)

Also I have my writing group tonight (wOOt!) and they'll be looking at the first ten pages of chapter one as well. So I wanted to be a bit ahead of the game so I can just correct anything they find and then hopefully submit my chapter for my free critique (EXCITEMENT!)

While I was line editing I was wondering how many line edits everyone else does?
I do 2 or 3 line edits of a whole piece. I'll do one kind of early on (but not too early, I don't want to line edit a chunk that's just going to end up cut). Then I'll do one once most all of the other revisions are done. And then I do one last final one, where I read the story backwards so I can really just concentrate on each sentence alone.

How many line edits does everyone else do? It used to be that line edits were the only thing that I did to revise, just read over the story line by line, over and over again until I either thought it was done, or figured that I had had enough. But this time I'm trying something different.

How about you?

I hope everyone has a nice week!

22 comments:

Alexandra Shostak said...

It's been different for me for each manuscript. But I always line edit after finishing up a huge revision (like the one I'm doing right now) because I want to make sure the story is coherent--even if I know the draft I'm on isn't the final one, it's always good to have a cohesive version rather than one in tatters. And I always line edit before sending anything off to cps. And when I queried before, I line edited before sending out any queries... and then I line edited again. Haha. And if I were to get a request, I'd line edit some MORE.

Have fun with your writing group! :)

Piedmont Writer said...

I do my first one when the first draft is finished. I can't stand working with messy copy. Then I revise. Then I revise again. Line edit. One more look-see revison, and hopefully final line edit. Then I'm ready to query.

KarenG said...

I don't start line edits until I've got the structure in the way it needs to be. Then I'll work in line edits on the second or third draft, while continuing to work on structure.

Patti said...

I line edit a bit as a go on the first draft and then it just depends on how it's going.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

At least a dozen times? Maybe more?

Teebore said...

I used to edit like you did: just read it through again and again.

Now, I'm probably more like your new style: line edit, then again after revisions, then once more, REALLY line editing that final time.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

You know, I learned a lot about editing in graduate school, and my mentor taught me about different layers of editing. First, is a global edit in which you look at the document as a whole, trying to identify major issues like theme, voice, overall plot, etc. and seeing what's working, what isn't--here you might also consider the layout of your book, the structure, etc. Then you do a closer edit in which you start breaking things down, not looking at language specifically, but trying to fill in plot holes, character inconsistencies, those sorts of things. And then you do more of a copyedit where you begin to do the line by line editing, zapping adverbs, cleaning up language, making the paragraphs more cohesive, etc. And finally, you do a proofread. It's how I was taught, but I tend to mix and match the different types of editing, especially the first two. But proofreading is really best saved for the very last. You will rework things so much, that you'll just end up cutting something you've just corrected for grammar and punctuation.

But good luck!! I lost track of how many different edits I've done of my first manuscript. Probably something like 10 drafts.

Falen said...

Alexandra - yeah i can certainly see myself doing more than three...

Piedmont - i, too, have troubles working with a messy copy. it stinks

Karen - that's what i'm trying this time. So far it seems to be going OK

Alex - that... is a lot...

Patti - in the past i've done a bit of line editing while writing, but i tried to not do that this time

Teebore - ahhh the good ole days

Carolina - that's the process i'm trying to use this time around. I hope it goes well so i'll want to use it next time, too

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

I killed my interest in my one finished WIP by trying to do this intensive line by line edit, when it really needed a broad, scene/character focused edit. I still haven't been able to get back into it. *sigh* someday.

Laura Marcella said...

Oh gosh, I don't keep count. I'm a perfectionist, so I line edit a lot! I've never tried line editing backwards, though. What a great idea! Thanks for the tip.

Palindrome said...

You know I haven't quite dragged myself there yet but I am excited for UMWADS tonight!! Woot-woot!!

Southpaw said...

Once the story is set, really set after revisions and edits, then line editing. Of course, things are patched up along the way to clean it up, but once the story is there line editing is smoother.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I'm not sure how many, but I do know it's TOO MANY! I like Carolina's advice. I think I'll give that a try next time. :-)

Shannon said...

It's a mixed bag.

First draft, a few line edits, story revisions, plot revisions, character development (or flushing out), line edits...and so on.

I don't like working in a messy draft so once I finish a chapter's plot/theme, I line edit.

The trick (for me) is to keep moving forward.

Falen said...

Sonshine - ugh i hear that. I have a short story that just needs one more revision (and then a line edit) and i just haven't been able to bring myself to do it

Laura - the backwards editing is awesome. It's so helpful

Palindrome - Pahtee at the OC!

Southpaw - i wish i had done more patching along the way

Shannon - i don't know if there can be TOO many line edits...

Shannon - yeah the moving forward can be an issue for me too

Talli Roland said...

Good luck with the revisions!

I usually do three or four line edits. Or sometimes five to be on the safe side!

Happy Monday!

Falen said...

Talli - the safe side is always good. And i wish it was friday...

KM said...

Well, since I can never decide if I'm done or not, an infinite amount of line edits. lol Call me a perfectionist or call me psychotic, but I just can never say "I'm done." It's a disease. ;)

Lisa Green said...

I honestly don't know how many passes I typical do. Sometimes I do stuff as I read. Sometimes I go back to the beginning before I even finish or skip ahead to something that occurs to me then. I guess I'm kind of a mess. Somehow it all works out in the end though.

AchingHope said...

LINE EDITS!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! *ducks and hides*

Oh, have fun with your writing group :D

*goes back to hiding*

Creepy Query Girl said...

My manuscript has been 'overview' edited at least a dozen times. But it's only had three real 'rewrite, rethink, re-arrange' edits.

PS- You've been bestowed an award on my blog:)

Falen said...

KM- for me, the I'm done, moment comes when i just realize i'm not going to put any more effort into it.

Lisa - as long as it works for you

Achong - i LOVE line edits. They're the easy fun editing part

Creepy - yeah i hope i don't have more than three or so

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