I know, I know. I haven’t blogged for two weeks and I’ve given exactly no reason for it. Well, to be honest, I’ve just been too busy lately. What with Easter and a bunch of other things going on (birthday of youngest child, for example) I simply haven’t had the time. I’m sorry. I’m also going to be writing a Monday post on a Friday, mainly because I have something I want to talk about.
I’ve been editing. (What? I hear you say. You’ve had time to edit but not blog? What sort of author are you?) The thing is, of course, that editing does not require the internet so I haven’t needed a web connection to do it. This isn’t saying a web connection isn’t handy, but it’s certainly not necessary.
The funny thing is, I’ve been enjoying the editing process immensely. Sure, there’s still a long way to go, but there really is something satisfying about taking a red pen to a manuscript. Figuratively speaking, of course – I haven’t yet printed out my novel and I don’t want to until I cut at least another 10,000 words. (I’ve cut 15,000 so far, so it’s not impossible.) This isn’t due to any preference to editing on screen, though I generally have little problem with that, but more that I don’t want to use up too much paper. Especially considering that the only decent printer I have access to is at my work.
Generally, I’m happy with the structure at the moment. There are still some scenes that need rewriting or moving or incorporating into other scenes, but overall it’s looking pretty good. So what I’m focusing on now, because it’s easy and something I can do when I’m feeling a little brainless, is taking out words I use too much. A few samples of web-based editing services have told me “that” is a word I use approximately eight times as much as I should, and “just” is the next worst offender, so I’m using that old staple of find-and-replace to either change those words to other things, or, in many cases, just delete them entirely. I think I got rid of 1000 words by that method alone.
Like I said, though, there is still a long way to go. I intend to go to a proper professional editor when I am finally as happy with it as I can be through my own editing, but in the meantime there are some really helpful sites out there. Sites like Autocrit, FirstEditing, and Book Editing Services (to name a few) will give you a free sample edit, which is really helpful for identifying some of your common errors before you commit to a paid service. Helpful hints can also be found everywhere, like here and here. I’m now taking a few days off the edit to spend with my kids, but come next week, wish me luck!
And while we’re on the subject of luck, I know I’ll need more than a little to make it very far, but if you like my blog then I would love you to vote in the Best Australian Blogs competitions for this year. Just click on the button below and look for Emily’s Tea Leaves in the list.
I think you should also consider voting for Confessions of a Stuffed Olive, which is one of my favourite blogs and one I’ve mentioned more than once on these pages. You don’t have to be Australian to vote but you can only vote once, so please do so with care and consideration. Thank you.
- Editing ~ Michael J. Sullivan (silkscreenviews.wordpress.com)
- Creative Writing: Redundancies, Synonyms, and Editing IN Mistakes (UGH!) (crimsonleague.com)
- DIY Editing (jwtroemner.wordpress.com)
- Hand editing an entire novel manuscript (cuppatae.wordpress.com)
- Writerly Tools: Editing Edition (thereanddraftagain.wordpress.com)
- Writing and Rewriting, Revising and Editing (rickybruce.wordpress.com)