Monday, January 08, 2007

Revising my take on editing

So, my Wolf manuscript (What do you think of the title Diary of an Urban Werewolf?) is due January 15, and now that the kids are back in school, I'm editing.

Now, usually I don't like editing much; for me, the joy is in creating the story. Which is a joy, by the way. I love it when stories just flow out of the keyboard.

But as I go through the manuscript, I find myself smiling at the areas I did well -- and finding lots of opportunities to punch things up a bit. And I'm getting lost in the story, just like I do when I'm writing new scenes.

In other words, I'm having fun!

And when else are you going to catch all of your little snafus -- like calling Clinton of What Not to Wear Carson? Or changing a character's name halfway through the manuscript? Or discovering that half of your characters' names start with 'S'? (I usually have one letter I favor per book; last time it was 'M'.)

I usually mark all of my 'unknowns' with a triple-X, which makes for some interesting reading. And some interesting -- not to mention creative -- editing. Take, for example, this little excerpt, which I ran across a few minutes ago:

“What’s XXX for?” Lindsey asked.
“And this guy wanted a spell to XXX.” I looked at my mother. “And you agreed to do it?”
She shrugged. “What’s the harm?”
“Unless you’re the XXX,” I muttered.

Do I have any idea what any of those XXXs are? Nope. I hope I know soon. Like by Friday, because that's when I have to send it off.

So editing does have its place, particularly when you have a manuscript liberally peppered with Xs. As I usually do -- if I stop to look something up midstream, I usually lose the flow, so I just save it for later. In this case, much, much later.

Thank goodness for deadlines. And schedules. Or I'd never go back and solve the problem of the XXXs.

Speaking of schedules, many of you have probably noticed my presence here has been a bit scarce lately. Due to time constraints, I've been (a) writing (b) doing dull things like dishes and laundry and (c) posting primarily to the Cozy Chicks blog, which I encourage you to check out. But I have recently established a new schedule; I'll be posting here Mondays and Thursdays, with a second post on the Cozy Chicks on Thursdays.

For now, though, it's back to the editing board... I'll be back Thursday!


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