Non-writers just don’t understand: Editing is…um…hard…

editing

Hey, writer friends, what’s up? I was recently tweeting a fellow writer and she mentioned her latest editorial struggle (as depicted in above meme). This is totally me. I am a verbose person. Good for reaching the target word count, bad for keeping it under…. I try to set a goal of keeping my YA contemporary around 80,000 words. Which is almost impossible for me. So I start slashing words. A lot of words.

622788__safe_twilight+sparkle_animated_screencap_princess+twilight_magic_hub+logo_flying_angry_fight

I go through my MS  line-by-line, word-by-word, slashing whatever is not absolutely necessary. …and while cutting things, I’ll realize I need to have more internal monologue or emotional reaction or non-verbals to really convey the impact of a particular scene or the character’s progress on an internal or external story arc. And–tada!–not only have I failed in my goal of cutting X number of words, I’ve actually added 2000. …which leads to another edit.

tumblr_inline_mqbuizV6Sb1qz4rgpBut I trust the process. In the end, my story will be better for it!

Writer friends, what is your focus when you edit? Too many words? Too few? Those pesky adverbs? Telling instead of showing? Commas and semi-colons?

Advertisements

10 comments

  1. Jonas Lee · November 25, 2014

    I feel your pain, cutting words out is like cutting myself, practically can’t be done.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · November 26, 2014

      Haha yeah! And what happened to me last time was I discovered places where I actually was a bit too spartan…which is what lead to adding words, even as I was cutting them! Good to be reminded I’m not alone LOL.

      Like

  2. phantomwriter143 · November 26, 2014

    I’m verbose just like you. Writing enough is never the problem. I have an issue with using too many of the same words. And I’m on the adverb train. Everyone says down with adverbs, but I do like to use them. Not too much, of course, but I do have to cut them out sometimes.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · November 26, 2014

      Haha yeah, writing is such a delicate balance! It’s kind of ridiculous how many things you have to juggle while writing and the judgements you have to make. Oh, adverbs…. Oh redundancies…

      Like

  3. maniacmarmoset · November 26, 2014

    I struggle with having enough words personally. So my editing process is often an adding process as well. Also, when I am really struggling it’s always with big macro plot stuff and not little language stuff. I can write pretty language until the cows come home and then I can write sonnets about the cows, but plot is hard stuff.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · November 26, 2014

      Oh the plot, the plot. I have problems with all that as well. Try to tackle all that well before all the word slashing (hopefully, lol). The joys of being a writer haha.

      Like

  4. Bookgirl · November 26, 2014

    Yeah, but i find those new 5000 are sometimes the best. It’s editing number 4 and 5 which kill me. By then I hate every character, I don’t want to read another word and nothing could tempt me to write anything extra LOL.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · November 26, 2014

      OMG YES! All of what you said, truth. Just pure truth. I cannot count the times I wanted to just start my WIP on fire. LOL. Locking it away for a while helps. And spot on about the new 5k, too, which makes it even harder! You feel me 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jools · November 27, 2014

    I too feel your pain, having gone through several phases of edits, adding, deleting, adding, deleting… Great post.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · November 27, 2014

      Haha oh the writer’s life! I’m not glad you feel my pain (cuz I wouldn’t want to wish pain on anyone :P) but its always nice to commiserate with fellow writers. Happy…um…writing 😛

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s