Saturday, December 17, 2011

Editing...

Lately, I've been drowned in my own editing, so I haven't posted like I've promised. By the end of this month, it'll be two months since I started editing and one year since I began my young adult paranormal romance.

Anyways, I'd like to talk about editing. A lot of writers are puzzled by editing, and I was at the beginning, too. When I started editing my very first novel, I had no clue where to begin and no idea what editing truly was. So I began line editing...and that was the worst mistake I could have ever made. I F-d up on editing that novel. I only line edited it, and I thought it was perfect. Boy was I wrong! When I sent that disastrous novel out, along with my God-awful first query, I got rejection after rejection after rejection. Boy did I deserve those rejections. My writing in that query truly looked like the writing of a sixteen-year-old, and so did my novel.

I'm so glad that that novel got rejected because now I can go back and fix it all up to its best potential. Plus, it was way too short for YA novel. I had about 55 thousand words, and I'm writing another half of the story, which will make it around 120 thousand now! Even though I had some nice rejections, saying that they loved my idea but didn't connect with my writing, I'm still glad I got rejected. I'm still ashamed when I go back and re-read over my query.

But now with my newest novel, I've learned what editing is all about. Editing is hacking and slashing at scenes and rewriting what you thought was good to make it amazing, which also means to kill your darlings. (One of the worst things is to delete a scene you love, but it only makes your novel stronger) You have to set the right mood for scenes, add description to the scenes, delete sentences. It's also extremely important for characters to say things that fits their personality best.

If you can read through a scene and not be satisfied with it, then edit it. You must never leave a scene alone unless you are satisfied with the outcome. My first chapter took me about 20 times to get correct, from starting over to rehashing scenes over and over again. But it was all worth it, and now, I love that chapter and I'll be glad for it to represent my novel.

Also, pacing is a major thing you should watch for. The first time I read through my paranormal romance, I had the main characters swooning over each within the first two weeks they knew each other. I was sickened by it, so I had to add many sentences to make the novel go slower, and not day by da
y.

To me, I think the worst part is writing the query. The first time I wrote one, I did everything you weren't supposed to do. I used all the wrong words to describe my novel. I even called my paranormal creature gaudy! That creature is not gaudy. It's supposed to be scary! I was also being too weird. I kept saying how awesome of an agent they were, but I didn't even know them so it was kind of creepy.

With queries, you must be as blunt as possible. I learned that you should have the best first sentence to intrigue the agent into wanting to read more. When I fixed up that first awful query, into an awesome, kick-ass one, I received less form rejections--well, they were form rejections still but with add in sentences that let me know that they actually were intrigued with my idea. But my novel was still kicking me in the arse.

So my real statement here is that editing can be quite fun but it can be a pain in the butt when you don't know how to start. And everyone has their own way of editing. You must find the best way that suits you most and you will perfect your baby into a dream come true.

I also find that editing while listening to music really helps me hash and slash scenes, just to let you know.

2 comments:

  1. I'm starting editing on one of my novels today and I'm looking forward to it. Blogged about it yesterday actually. I like editing as well. I recently had to write a query letter and it almost killed me. No wait, writing the synopsis nearly killed me. Good luck with your editing.

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  2. This is all so true. It hurts to cut out something that you really loved, but if it makes the story better, then it's all worth it. In the end.

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