March 24, 2013

Stoking the Flames: ROW80 Update

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” 
Arthur Plotnik

So true, and why we all need editors.

I trust my story, and what I set out to do. But, I also know at some point I can no longer be objective. After all, I know what I mean. It's in my head. The reader will have no clue. 

For the mothers out there, think of your book like one of your children. In your heart and mind you grow it. Then, it becomes a reality. From there, you lose sleep and question what you've done. With each passing day, you both love this new thing you breathed life into and want to run screaming in the opposite direction.

But objective about it... nope. Sure, you know it's not perfect, but you love it anyway--often blinded from seeing its faults.

Thank God for editors. As the quote says above, they clear the way for your work to shine.

For me, I love the editing process. I'm not one to become so attached that I can't see ways to improve a piece. If anything, it makes me want to work on my craft. Instead of feeling attacked, I see the editor's notes as an opportunity to not only publish a better novel but to also become a better writer.

And, yes, an editor would have told me to not use two betters in the same sentence. 

The hardest part of the editing process for me is knowing when to let it go. I refuse to go back and read Depression Cookies because I'm terrified I'll find a mistake. In some ways, the editing process could go on forever--always tweaking. 

What's your favorite part of the editing process? Least favorite?

And now a brief update for A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80)...

Since it's Spring Break and my kids are home (and we have three days with my hubby before he leaves again for three weeks), I've been focused on family. But I also have to get back to edits this week. My goal is to tackle a few chapters a day at least. Hopefully more.

Round 1 ends this week. Unbelievable. But I'm determined to go out with a bang and rev it up to head into Round 2. Cheering for all my ROW80 cohorts!


amy kennedy said...

Favorite part of editing? Er...just kidding, when a light goes off in my head and I realize what's missing. Also, the little fixes of word choice and sentence structure.

It sounds like you've found a good balance this week, family's important (duh) the most important, but I like it that you're not completely setting your writing aside.

Jo Michaels said...

I always worry my authors will feel attacked. Good to know there's at least one that won't :)

Enjoy the time with the family, honey! WRITE ON!

Mel Kinnel (@TizMellyMel) said...

I make myself crazy with the editing process but I know it's a necessary evil. I end up finding a lot of mistakes like left out words, fragmented sentences, etc. I'm not always married to everything I write so I can chop out things without cringing too badly.

Julie Glover said...

I love editing. I see it as polishing up so that the beauty of the work can really shine!

My husband used to laugh at me, though, because I had a hard time turning in papers in graduate school. Once they left my hands, I could no longer FIX them! It was nerve-wracking to think there might be a mistake in there that I hadn't caught.

alberta ross said...

well I don't like editing and the final has to be left to friend from forever/editor but what I find fascinating is how by taking out the repeated words (highlighted) changing the sentence structure around to avoid them, having to tweak the vocab. - a whole new shiny result appears - where least expected. Magic

Tia Bach said...

Amy -- I agree. I love light bulb moments.

Jo -- I loved editing and being edited. ;-)

Mel -- The few things I do feel married to, I trust my instincts.

Julie -- Totally agree. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is hit Publish.

Alberta -- Shiny. Love.