Monday, August 24, 2020

On editing

One of the things about editing your own work is distance.

When I was working strictly on my own, without editors, without publishers, without anyone, I needed to finish a project, then put it aside for weeks if not MONTHS, just so I could come back to it.

Granted, at the time I wrote it, I just wanted to get it all out of my head. So when I came back to it later, my first thought was "Who wrote this s***?"

Nowadays, I need a lot less of it. Because I have a better handle of what I people to feel and how to get that result.

Of course, some days are better than others.

Right now, I'm working on my third Williams and Miller book. If you don't know that series, it's more self-pubbed thrillers. The books were so large, I've broken up books one and two into three and two parts, respectively.

Why were they so big? Well, I had a general notion that books had to be 300-400 pages. So, I did that....

With 8.5 x 11 inch pages....

Single spaced....

Which is how I ended up with my current editing project, a monster of 156,000 words.

After two days of editing, it's not 146,000 words. Oy. Trust me, if you thought I like long sentences now, you should have seen the Ciceronian chunks of text I churned out back then.

Keep in mind, "Back then" was 20 years ago. When people are commenting on how much my writing has matured and use the previous two novels as proof... well, that's less the writing, and more the editing. The previous two novels were edited to within an inch of their life, until the point where I couldn't even read them anymore.

My current one... eh. Not so much. There will be a lot of "kill it with fire" going on. Keep in mind, in 2000, I thought one of the bigger stories twenty years from t hen would be sending UN peacekeepers to Belfast.

Current story in Belfast... all medical related.

[Head desk]

So I'll hit this one with a machete until the edits on Lightbringer come back, then I'll switch off again and see what happens when I come back to it again.

Fun fun fun.

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