Edits, Weaknesses and Spies

Today comes an update from the ongoing efforts of Twyned Earth. Yesterday I finally finished putting all of the feedback into Through the Black‘s Scrivener doc. It’s taken me longer than I’d have hoped due to a hectic few months but hey, that’s life.

Putting aside the distractions though, it still isn’t a fast process for me. It’s more than just inserting people’s comments – it’s also figuring out fixes for the comments without messing up the rest of the story. That’s the time consuming part. I like to plan both big and small changes because a tiny alteration in one place can seriously skew things elsewhere. Consistency is a huge issue – but there’s another benefit.

It means that when I sit down to start editing I can get cracking right away, which is essential me.

Identifying one’s weaknesses is hugely important to being successful. I know that one of mine is sitting down to work and having no idea where to start and then panicking. There’s this big MS to write or edit and it’s a massive job. If I don’t have a plan and I don’t know where to start, I freeze. I get daunted. I get overwhelmed. And I don’t do anything.

Panicking is the enemy. I deal with this by treating each piece of feedback as a separate entity and working out how it can be fixed. I end up with lots of little problems and solutions on how to deal with them, all there in the document file, listed and ready to tell me what to do. It’s so much easier to keep yourself cool and soldier on when there’s someone holding my hand and telling me what to do (even if that person is Past Me).

Our own personal weaknesses don’t go away, but if you can identify and learn how to deal with them they don’t have to hold you back. Don’t be afraid of your weaknesses. Embrace them. Befriend them. Infiltrate them from the inside. Like a spy. Discover its weakness. And then destroy them! What was I saying? I think you get the idea. Perhaps.

Aaaanyway, what about you? Are you a meticulous planner of editing ? Do you feel it out as you go?

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2 responses to “Edits, Weaknesses and Spies

  1. I know the “freezing” feeling, so I don’t plan and look at the whole manuscript. I set myself small goals: edit a chapter, edit for an hour, whatever works at the moment. I still keep “the whole”-related things in the back of my mind, but figuring out how to change a scene to make it fit the rest is not as daunting as trying to remember how much there’s left to do. 🙂

  2. As much as I like to plan out my drafts, I’m very much a pantser when it comes to the edits. I read all my beta notes voraciously and pepper their creators with questions, and then I let it ruminate, usually for months, before I ever open the document again. If I get any brilliant ideas for particular problems, I jot them down on a piece of paper. And then when the whimsy strikes me, I get back at it, usually reading through chronologically and tuning things as they come up. If anything good and truly stumps me, I close the document and let it ruminate some more. It’s MUCH more casual than my drafting.

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