Friday, December 10, 2021

Change It Up

Everyone's got their own way of writing, and that's a good thing.  Everyone also has their own way of editing, which is also a good thing.  As long as it actually is a good thing.

See, I have this usual way of editing my books.  I send the first draft to my Kindle, then I sit down with a big notebook and read the book while making notes about things that need changing.  I then input the notes and when I'm done with all of them, I send the next draft to my Kindle.  The second time, I generally input the notes as I go, once I get a page or so I enter them.  Other than that, it's lather, rinse, repeat until the book is as far as I can take it by myself.  At which point, the book goes to my readers so they can make notes however they make them and send them back to me.

It's a pretty good system that worked well for a lot of books.  So, I was working on that system for this book.  I did the first round and everything was fine.  Then I sat down to do the second round and it wasn't working for me at all.  And when things aren't working well, I tend to not want to do them.  I made about five notes and then I didn't want to pick up the book again.  Blerg.  

Then I sat down to input the notes, even though there were so few of them, thinking it might jump start the process.  Took like five minutes.  At which point, the general rule is to get up off my ass and go make more notes.  But the thought of that made me want to go play poker instead.  

So, what's a gal to do?  Change it up.  If doing the way I've done it for years isn't working, do it a different way.  Instead of making edit notes, I sat my ass down here, opened the manuscript, and started over from the beginning, changing anything wrong with the story.  I usually need the middle man, but I cut him right the hell out.  And it seems to be working for me.  Right now, anyway.  

Anyway, doing this goaded me into getting sixteen pages edited last night.  After only doing three pages during the previous session.  And two pages the session before that.  Yes, this deep, line by line editing is going to take longer, but I believe the end result will be closer to finished than the other way.  And if it isn't, well, at least it got me working again.  If it's closer to finished, I may only have to do a proofreading pass, which would cut the time off the end considerably.  We'll see.

The point is, there is no one right way to do any of this.  There isn't one right way from person to person, and there isn't even one right way for the same person from book to book.  Do what works until it doesn't work.  Then change.   If you feel like you're pushing yourself to work instead of being pulled by the work, mix it up a bit.  Do something... anything... a bit differently.  Hell, do it all differently, if you have to.  Put some jumper cables on that dead battery and get the engine to turn over again.  

At least this is working for me.  Your mileage may vary, but what could it hurt to try?


  1. This: If you feel like you're pushing yourself to work instead of being pulled by the work, mix it up a bit. Do something... anything... a bit differently.

  2. Excellent advice! And I'm so glad you found a new method that works. Sometimes, we have to take a detour to get out of the rut we often drive ourselves into. Hang in there and keep on truckin'!