Monday, June 2, 2014

Writing: Editing and Re-writes

One of the hardest parts for me of writing a book is the editing and re-writes. I don't mind it when I'm on a roll and have a clear idea of where I'm going, but when I know something needs to change and can't figure out what it is...then I'm stumped.

When that happens don't be afraid to ask for help! I will tell the truth...while I don't fear asking for help...I do sometime fear what will be said!

I will usually go to one of the following people:

  1. My family: my mom thinks everything I do is that can be good for morale, but not so good if I want to push myself. She is however, the best spellchecker and grammar queen I know! Now when I share my work with my sister, that's another story. She is the most critical, nit-pick every detail to a fault. This also has it's good and downside. The good is that she pushes me to do and be better with my writing. The downside....well, morale isn't usually good. I have to have super thick skin when I get thoughts from her. However, she has told me she thinks I'm a good writer, so she must think there is some good! And my brother, he doesn't care for spelling, grammar or the finer points, he just likes listening to me talk about my stories and that in itself helps me to iron out details I'm struggling with!
  2. I will often post something on It's free to join and you can ask people to review your work. I just did this a few weeks ago with a chapter I was having trouble on. A few of the people didn't respond with a review, but one person did (remember all you need is one person to make a difference, so don't get discouraged if the results you seek aren't what you're looking for). That one person gave me just what I needed to get what I wanted, but for some reason had trouble getting.
  3. They do a challenge every year in November: write a 60,000 word novel. I participated in it this this, but as I was moving my mom to FL and then had a over-due vacation (where I did nothing!) I was only able to accomplish 20,000 words before the end of the month. But they also have forms where you can submit some of your work for review. I have done this and received some help with the first 200 words of a chapter I did.
  4. Close friends-this can be a great way to get reviews and ask them questions you may have, such as: "Was the book easily understood?" "Did it grab your attention?" "Did you catch any mistakes?" They may even be able to review your book on Amazon when you get it published! Which is something you would want as the more reviews you get the more people will be interested in reading your book! 
Those are just a few ways I use to help me with edits and re-writes. Getting opinions from others can be difficult to hear as they tear down something you've sweated and put your hard work into, but the best thing you can do is get tough skin and eat the meat and spit out the bones!

There is a fine line that must be traveled here. Editing and re-writing is and can be good, but don't overdue it. You may never reach that "perfection" you want to see. Be okay with that. Just do the best job you can do.

Years from now you may look back and see how you could have improved, but that would be a good thing! It means you'd have grown in your writing. And besides, what's the important thing? The important thing is that you are writing!

Keep up the great work!

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