Saturday, September 24, 2011

More Edits, Edits, Edits

Just in case you're curious about what I'm up to, I've been editing.

For the most part, my editing process is now better than is was when I first started out, so that's good.

My typing and editing with an eye to eventual formatting needs is leaps and bounds beyond what it used to be. I could always handle using indent instead of tab, but I never used to think of checking for format frags, needless extra spaces, and so forth. This came with blogging experience with html and compose views, I think, along with some helpful info from my publishers.

In terms of basic writing, I seem to have improved, as well. I don't head hop any more, and my tenses/POVs are a lot less amateur than they were when I started out. I am no longer putting descriptors on every bloody verb and noun, and I've stopped mentioning the characters' eye colour over and over. Oh, and I no longer have them saying each other's names more than absolutely necessary (though I still find speaking the lover's name during romantic moments quite touching). I have really put the boots to the passive voice problem I used to have, thank heavens. I am clearing up my lack of contractions issue, as well as my love of formalities. I rarely get reminded to show instead of tell. I put in much more dialogue than in my early works, and I've become much more comfortable with leaving off the speech tags and being fine just saying "said" when that's what's needed.

Finally, on the topic of dialogue, I now no longer put a comma after speech when the following line is not a said thing (i.e., "Hi." He unwrapped his gum. As opposed to: "Hi," he unwrapped his gum. You can see that the latter makes little sense.)

As far as story stuff goes, I am a bit more able to deal with logistic issues. For instance, since joining Rebel Ink, I no longer whine about figuring out how to include condoms realistically in my erotica (as this appears to be their policy). Now, I am able to handle the issue as a matter of course fairly well, I think.

These are all great signs of progress! I can feel my style and general habits changing from amateur hobbyist to real writer, which is encouraging for me. I am now doing (or not doing) these things habitually in the first draft, which makes the editing process easier for us all.

Nevertheless, there are a few repeated weaknesses that I'm having trouble defeating. (sigh.) Commas, for example, continue to be an addiction to me, and I find not every editor likes my conversational dialogue style. That's fine. I'm never so attached to my style that I stall or refuse when an editor shoots me down. I can continue to work on my voice the way I want to, and some day it may be strong enough (combined with an editor who likes it) to take it's own lead. Otherwise, there wasn't a lot by way of huge issues - the experiment I was trying of dropping the reader right in the middle of an erotic scene kind of floundered, but I think I solved that one by moving a paragraph and massaging the scene a bit. We shall see when the next round of feedback comes in.

In this MS, I also found a preposterous modifying clause that made no sense, which is not something I usually foul up. In any case, I found it and fixed it. whew! This is why you guys never get to see the first draft!

Thank heavens for editors! Every editor (and betareader and reviewer) I have worked with or encountered has taught me a lot along the way and contributed to this more professional writing right from the get-go, so I thank them all!

In the end, this past week, I managed to turn in the edits on the Halloween story, Like Magic, a couple days ahead of my estimate, just in case I have a few more rounds left to go before the Oct 3 release goal. I suspect I will have the edits for the Thanksgiving installment, Charity, quite soon. (I also hope to have the cover to show you shortly, as well!)

Onward I plod. It's all coming along. I'm not fresh-writing as much as I would like, but am managing to do a little. I still hope to have the new paranormal in draft by Oct 1-ish. I've done a lot of guest blogging and interviews over the past week, and kept up with the day job, etc. However, the last couple of days, mostly, I've been trying to make this book ready to go live, but I should be able to do it on time.

So, that's what I've been up to. Hiding in my editing cave and burning holes through my gut with editing-strength coffee.

How's by you?

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