Monday, August 5, 2013

The Slough of Editing

Oh, hello, there, lovely blog-reader.
If anyone reads this blog anymore. I know I've been terribly absent.

For anyone that's interested, I do have a valid set of excuses. Moving out of state in stages, for one. And editing.

Editing--the breadth and scope of it--is something I don't think many of us young writers really grasp when we dive into the wonderful world of world-building, characters, plots, and ink smudges beneath our sleepless eyes.
I know for sure that I didn't fully realize what editing meant. Now, honestly, I'm just beginning to realize. It's been a long time in coming. Four+ years and five novels.

At the moment I'm slogging through the slough of time-consuming, intense editing. Draft 3, to be precise.

Draft 1 -- I polished some. Prepared it for the contest in the little time I had available.

Draft 2 -- Scared. I didn't know what in the world I was doing, even though I had amazing feedback from the contest judges and some friends.

Draft 2.5 -- After asking an older, wise OYANer who has been faithfully editing her (gorgeous) novel off and on over the course of several years for advice, I read over my manuscript and made a ton of notes. Seriously. Pages upon pages of notepaper now have my chicken-scratch running across them in various charts and such. Terrified but more prepared, I dove in headlong and made a ton of changes.

Draft 3 -- More of the same. Yay! I have a bajillion-and-one sticky notes (okay yes I exagerate) plastered to the inside of my binder (filled with notes), Word documents with feedback from friends, and floaty little half-ideas drifting through my brain. The sticky notes are decreasing. The feedback documents are turning yellow as I highlight the changes I implement. More people want to read it (eep!). Very shortly I'll call it a draft and send it to my next round of readers.

Then I will go over my judges' notes again, my readers' feedback, and (the plan is to) read one or more of Jeff Gerke's books on editing. After filling those pages up with sticky flags I'll hit the pages of my manuscript again and wade back into the slough. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Okay so maybe "slough" is a bit of an extreme word. Some of the editing is fun, honestly. Backstories. Descriptions. Plot bunnies! That kind of thing. Some of the other stuff isn't quite so fun, like the nit-picky grammatical changes. Necessary but (in the words of Sherlock) "Boring!"

Upon this I am now also adding the final stage(s) of my out-of-state move, college prep studies, seven kittens, GISHWHES (gosh don't get me started on that. I'm nervous!), job hunting...
Maybe life's the slough and not just the editing!
It's all good, though.
Crazy at times, but good.

I love Hosanna House. Really. It's my baby. I'm so excited to see it slowly become more polished, more cohesive, more real, even when going through those moments where I never want to fix another plot hole again.

Well. There you go, blog. A new that sounds more conversational than my usual style. I need to brainstorm and come up with more things to blog about, because not blogging isn't good, my life isn't always the most entertaining thing to blog about, and geeking out over my book again and again gets repetitive (maybe a different geek post is in order. Maybe a fangirl post about the wonderfulness that is BBC's Sherlock. Or Numb3rs.).

Until the next post,

Rak Chazak Amats! 

- Hannah

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