Writing Journal: Y2 Day 73

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Last time, I mentioned that I was going into edit/revision mode for Sam Kane Book 2, which I did.  I also sent out a ton of resumes, hit a job fair, recorded some podcasts – but we’re here to talk about the writing, so let’s get to it.

Probably, everyone approaches editing differently.  For me, for this book, I started with notes from the agent.  Printed those out.  Asked @TyBarBary to help with punctuation and grammar stuff that I can be totally blind to sometimes.  Then I started at the beginning and worked my way back through every word.

I did a few searches, like for the word ‘that’.  Everywhere it appeared, I changed stuff up.  (I’m bad about using ‘that’ a lot).  I also have a thing in my brain mixing up brake/break and lead/led, so I searched for those and fixed any instance of either.  This went on for a bit.

At this point, I kept starting over, going back through the first 3rd of the book over and over, and it got to a point where I felt like I would never move forward, never get done.  You get a little overwhelmed, or at least, I do.  I stared at my laptop and didn’t want to open the book again, or work on it, because editing isn’t fun.  It’s the work after the work.

I mean, you write the book – that’s the sexy part.  Even if you have an outline, there are no rules!  You can go where you want to go, take your characters in any direction that feels right.  The road is open.

Then you get into editing and the fun is kinda gone.  Now you’re seeing where you screwed something up, typed a word wrong, mixed up the dialogue of two characters – that sort of thing.  It’s work.  You’re working now.  You’re doing the stuff you have to do, but you’d rather be having fun on the open road.

That’s when @TyBarbary’s notes came back, which gave me reason to keep pushing forward and something to focus on.  I went through Ty’s notes with a notepad of my own sitting there, and I made edits, and notes of my own.  When I was done, I again went to the beginning and made a pass.  The 1st half of the book breezed by feeling really tight.

Getting into the second half, I had my notes, and the agent’s notes, and it went well.

Editing over.

( ! ) Accomplishment achievement unlocked

I cut the instances of 'that' by 50%

 

(Click here to see the original text statistics graphic showing 1,147 instances of ‘that’)

In other news, I am trying, again, to get my brain into short story mode.  I continue to struggle with short fiction.  It could very well be that I am just not wired for short fiction.  Or maybe I just haven’t figured out my way of doing it yet.

To help, I have been reading a lot of short fiction.  I have three massive ‘best of’ anthologies that I am working through.

Hopefully, something will click.

I do have a short story of my own coming out in an antho in April.  But more on that later.

~P