Monday, November 4, 2013

Confession: I Don't Like Editing at ALL!


I really dont. whether I am reading over a manuscript before I send for submission or edits I recieve from editors. All of it makes me twitch in a fetal position on the floor. It is the real downside to writing and being published for me.

So I tried to examine why I get so bent of out shape. A lot of it is personalty. Some people love the editing process. No one is perfect, I know that. Everything needs editing. Some people revel in the process of honing and polishing a story, so much so, they don an editor's hat along with their writers one. Cool. I will never be an editor. lol~

My personality is a strange see-saw mixture of self-doubt and fairly solid confidence. How's that for a potent and toxic combination?  I don't edit as I go, I get the story down first, then go back and add more description or tidy up repetitve words (my weakness). Obviously, I don't get them all. I also have a blind spot when it comes to tenses. Always have.

Another Confession: I don't have a BA in English Literature, nor have I taken any creative writing courses. I graduated Grade 12 with mostly business courses under my belt. Fat lot of good that did me. I graduated in 1979, shorthand was dead by 1983. A least I learned how to type! :)

My hubs calls me a natural storyteller. I'm flattered. I have no problems whipping up characters and plots.  But I am not a technically perfect writer and may never be. Ever the teacher, he showed me worksheets on-line to improve upon my tense problems, but it's too much like school. I suppose I had better start after going through some recent edits.

I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I open an edit and the MS is highlighted in all different colors. The feelings of self-doubt kick in. "I suck!" "They must think I am stupid" I could go on.
But after the hubs holds me and comforts me for 15 minutes, he points out a few things. This is techincal stuff, easy fixes, they haven't changed your story, asked you cut out big pieces or add all kinds of new scenes. I think about it. He's right. If you can plot and create great characters, that's 2/3 of the battle. Still, I feel sick.

I also open and have a look at my very first submission, Timeless Heart, and shudder at what a hot mess it was. I'm shocked it was even accepted. I have come a long way in 2.5 years, so I am certainly learning as I go. I can take some pride in the fact I HAVE improved. A lot.

But then edits come and you realize you still have a long way to go. Just remember the editor is part of your team, helping you to polish that story and buff it to a fine shine. So sometimes their comments seem curt, or they use six question marks to make their point. Don't take it personally. Let it go. I try to put a happy face at the end of my comments to soften any tone that could be read into them. I wish more editors did that. But, I have to admit, I have learned a lot from them. I have had some great ones. Especially at Decadent Publishing. The edits are thorough, sometimes painful, but the end product is quality. I am proud of every one of my Decadent releases.

So, what can I do? I think I will be slowing down on submissions. I hate getting edits for two books at the same time. But when you have two pen names, it happens. I will also continue to learn, hone in on my weaknesses and work to improve.

I have grown a thick skin over the last 2+ years with regards to reviews, I will learn to do the same with edits. :)

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