Last week taught me a couple of things. First, editing for myself requires so much more discipline than when I did it for clients 😬. And second, I need to take a serious look at my daily work schedule.
Review 26th May – 1st June 2022
Here’s what last week’s goal looked like:
- Say What You Mean (SWYM) edit for Act III of Running the Asset
(See last week’s post for what Say What You Mean edit means.)
First Lesson: Discipline
I started the week ready to do exactly as I’d planned. Check through Act III for any extraneous bits of story and add in anything that’s missing. Basically, solidify the structure.
Luckily, the overall structure, from a top-down view, is solid. On the other hand, the scenes need some reinforcement and some weeding. Although I write with highly detailed outlines, I sometimes forget bits and fail to put them in, end up following a thread of thought that doesn’t do anything for the scene, or repeat something later in the scene. Those are the things I had aimed to deal with in this editing pass.
That wasn’t how it went. I ended up doing copy editing while I checked each scene for its structural integrity. It might not sound like a bad thing, but it is; believe me, I convinced myself that I was saving soooo much time. Plus, these were technical scenes (fights, chases, sexy times), and it seemed even more critical to get the words right early in the edits.
[Copy editing is fixing spelling and grammar, catching inconsistencies, fact-checking, and improving word choice. It’s the edit before a manuscript goes to a proofreader (the final check).]
No. It’s one of the most ridiculous ways to do an edit. And, I know better than to do it this way! There are multiple passes for character, emotion, description, and tone that have to happen before the copy edit. If you’re wondering why the copy edit comes after all those other passes, it’s because those other passes will alter the text, and a lot of what I’ve changed will probably never make it past the first few passes.
Even with the early heavy editing mistake, I did manage to complete the first pass in the SWYM edit (structure) for Act III! 😁
The valuable lesson I learned from last week is that I need to discipline myself to focus on one pass at a time.
Second Lesson: Schedule
During the last month of writing, writing was pretty much all I did–aside from my update and Things in Scots posts. It was great, but I fell behind on staying up-to-date with your comments–sorry, blogs I read, actual reading, and my marketing plans.
I’d thought that once I started on the edits, things would fall back into place on their own. They didn’t. I spent all of my allotted work hours on editing and had little to no time left to deal with the business side of writing (like getting my newsletter sent out 😬 without resorting to stealing downtime to do it) or anything else, really.
Instead of saying, yip, I’ll make sure I set time aside, blah, blah, blah, I did something about it. I sat down this morning and came up with a timetable like the ones from high school, complete with breaks. Now, I’m not going to lie to myself that I’ll stick to it, that’s not always possible, but it’s there as a guide.
This Week’s Goal
- SWYM edit (structure) Act IIB
This one will be tough as Act IIB is ten to fifteen thousand words too long. More specifically, nine out of eighteen scenes are double the length they should be.
I’m hoping that it’s a simple case of repeating myself or even stray text that doesn’t fit the scene or the story. If it’s the case that I’ve overwritten, then that could take a lot longer than one week to deal with.
In honour of one of my lessons and the fact it’s one of my favourite songs by my favourite band, here’s some Discipline by Nine Inch Nails
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by, and take care.
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