Thursday, April 28, 2011

To edit or not to edit

As I write I edit.  I go back over the pages I have recently or not so recently written.  I spell check, grammar check, I embellish, take out distractions, add little bits and pieces I think are necessary.  But what I am asking myself now editing during writing necessary?

I received some advice from a former literary agent, tip number one was 'no correcting until the first draft is finished.'  No matter how amazing we think our manuscript is, it will always need correcting, so do it after the draft is finished.  This was like a 'light bulb moment' as Oprah would say, I guess I never thought of it as unnecessary during the initial writing process.  I thought I was on the ball, getting the revision done before actual completion.....I guess I was wrong!

With many revisions of my manuscript on my horizon I am quitting my 'edit as I write' mentality.  No longer is it necessary for me to go through my work, when I will be doing that several times before it is ready for submission anyway.  I can already feel the weight being lifted from my shoulders, and I envision a faster completion for my book.

'Penned Pages'

Monday: 1 page (better than nothing I guess!)
Tuesday: 3 pages
Wednesday: 3 pages

'Week in Writing'

These last few days have been rather fun for me.  I have enjoyed writing more since I was advised not to edit as I go.  Instead of re-reading passages or chapters when I have been stuck, I have just gone and made a cup of tea or grabbed a snack, come back to my laptop and continued where I left off, so I have been alot more productive.

I also feel because I am writing on a consistent basis, writing this blog, and continuing with the same manuscript, that my writing may be improving.....I certainly hope so, but I guess I am biased in that department huh?

'Author's Authority'

I have been advised to join a critique group.  I am a little hesitant about this, mainly due to the possibility of being told to give it all up, that my writing is not up to snuff.  So, how do I get over my insecurities about joining a group?  Should I have friends and family read my drafts?  Or is it easier to hear from strangers about whether or not I have a voice in writing?  This is my dilemma, plus there are not many groups here in Denver, I have been checking but there doesn't seem to be alot of choices.  I will keep searching, and see what is available and then I can make a decision.

Happy Penning!!

1 comment:

  1. I noticed that my initial writing of a chapter has really sucked, a lot. It is almost like I am focusing so much on getting the story down I can't tell it well.

    Then the next time I write, I read and edit the chapter I just finished (limit 1 chapter only!) and it turns out a lot better.

    As I read the whole story from start to finish (well, to what I have done so far) I see a lot I want to change, but unless it is an actual error (like when I write the wrong character's name) I leave it alone.

    That has been my progress up until now (chapter 12). Although the past few chapters I have not seen the need to rewrite it at all. Maybe my writing is improving or I am getting more comfortable writing?