Author Journal 26th May – 1st June 2022

Where did the time go? The last two weeks have flown by, and my holiday is over. We had a wonderfully relaxing time as we celebrated our anniversaries. Chilling out at home, watching movies and playing original Halo on co-op! (Thank you for all your warm wishes for us both 💖)

With that much-needed break under my belt, it’s time to get back to work on the editing 😬

The Basic Editing Stages

I may have mentioned in a previous post what the main stages of writing and editing are, but if not, here they are:

  • Say It
  • Say What You Mean
  • Say It Well

Say It

Say It: means getting the story from your head and onto the page (the first draft/shitty draft). This works for those working from an outline or coming up with the story as they go.

Say What You Mean

Say What You Mean: This is the first edit, or more likely, rewrite of the story. It’s a structural edit where the scenes from the first draft are boiled down onto index cards and then reworked until the story is what you wanted it to be. The changes are then made to the manuscript multiple times, often in the form of rewrites.

Say It Well

Say It Well: is the clean up from all of the changes made in the previous edits. When redundancies and repetitions are removed, the subtext is amped up, and word choice is improved. This stage is also known as the polish.

[Proofing is the final review in editing. It’s the hunt for misspelt words, homophones, homonyms, extra spaces, incorrect punctuation, etc.]

How I’m Going To Edit

My version of the three main stages of self-editing is a bit different than that above. I did my developmental and structural editing before writing a single word (mostly), going through multiple draft outlines. I lost count after the tenth draft. Having done all that work upfront–again, mostly– I have a pretty solid draft.

Say It, for me, was working through countless drafts of the highly detailed outline and then getting the draft down on the page.

Say What You Mean also differs a wee bit. I have some scenes in the story’s first half that need some chipping away and massaging since I did a redraft of the whole outline before I wrote the second half. There are also around seven scenes (approximately 17K words max.) in Act I to write from scratch-ish. But, the second half of the story is structurally sound and only needs some cosmetic work to make it a better reader experience.

Say It Well is the same as the above version, but I’ll be leaning more heavily on the polishing up of grammar etc.

This Week’s Goal

  • Say What You Mean Act 3

I’m hoping that I’ve been generous with the time for Act 3. The only editing data I have is from when I was working with clients, and that doesn’t include the time needed to fix all the issues I’d found in their manuscripts. So, I’m playing this by ear–and a big bucket of Omigods level of panic–hoping that the time I’ve allowed for all the editing is spot on. But, as of next week, I’ll have some actual data to work from!

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by, and take care.

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Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

10 thoughts on “Author Journal 26th May – 1st June 2022

  1. Chris Hall says:

    Have fun, Susan. It’s one of the fun parts I find!

    1. Will do, Chris. At least it’s for myself this time 🤣

      1. Chris Hall says:

        That makes all the difference!

  2. All of the best! You are almost there!!

    1. Thanks, Aletta!

  3. I’m glad you and Jez enjoyed your holiday, Susan, and I soaked in all the parts about editing a story. It’s about how I would do it instinctively, anyway, but hearing it from an expert is always helpful.

    1. Thanks, Stefanie! I’m glad this post helped, even in confirming what you already knew. (I’m by no means an expert–always learning new things when it comes to editing!)

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