Editing is a bitch. I’ve written about the differences between editing and revising before. But my dear friend Ali recently taught me one of the best, most practically useful lessons I’ve ever learnt when it comes to editing.
See, for a long time, I wrote, linearly, and then when I finished, I went back to the start and edited.
That’s good. But no matter how many times I did it, I still found a shit-tillion mistakes. Which resulted in a sort of crazed, goggle eyed, fuzzy haired – I’m going to commit arson on my manuscript – type look. It wasn’t pretty, my hairs curly enough thanks.
So, I listened to Ali and started tweaking the method to suit me. I’m going to share this editing trick with you, and hopefully it will help you to clean up your scripts too. (more…)
It took precisely 5 days and 23 hours after finishing the first draft of my novel before I lost the plot and felt like a rudderless ship. I know (stamps foot and pouts) I need to rest my manuscript. I’ve heard it said enough times to know it’s wise advice and that I have to do it (for as long as I can, which wont be that long).
But how do I cope in the mean time? I mean WHAT DO I DO NOW? I have spent the last year of my life pouring my soul into 400 pages of what is probably utter drivel. I have bled, cried and got finger blisters over this manuscript. So now….What am I meant to do now? It’s all over. The hard copy of the manuscript is sitting in the corner of my livingroom collecting dust whilst I try and be a good girl and not touch it…. LET ME EDIT, LET ME EDIT, LET ME EDIT.
Ok. Fine. I’ll behave. I guess I am not the sort of person who is able to… you know… rest, relax… do anything other than burn the candle at both ends and in the middle. So here, are my top tips for preventing insanity while you rest your manuscript. (more…)
At 1:04am, on the 20th of August, after exactly 292 days or 41 weeks and 5 days of writing my first draft of my novel, I wrote those two long awaited words… ‘The End’.
I was in bed, in the dark, laptop on my knees, with my sleeping beauty of a wife next to me. I stared at the screen, the cursor still blinking… and the first word that came into my mind was, “oh.” I stared around our darkened room and my gaze fell upon my wife. I searched for signs she was stirring… I had just finished my novel, of course she would just wake up… wouldn’t she? This was a momentous occasion… But her light sleepy snuffles continued. I couldn’t wake her.
I turned back to the screen. The cursor was still blinking. I read the two words in the middle of my screen. My eyes widened, my mouth fell slack… I really did finish? I wasn’t hallucinating or delirious like I had been many a time during this process…?
Nope. I really did finish. So what did I learn? (more…)