Getting Away to Get it Done/Lessons Learned on Rewrites

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians and Happy Pre-4th-of-July to my American friends. For the rest of you, Happy Summer! The weather here is fantastic!

Well, it’s day four of my two week holiday and so far the break has been an editing success; I’ve managed just shy of 45,000 words worth of editing so far. Only 35,000 to go.

To put that into perspective, I’ve been editing the story since the end of April and I was only 10K into it when we left. So why the big progress? Well, it doesn’t hurt that my wife loves driving. My job is to navigate so there are usually a lot of miles to review the written word between major events.

Don’t get me wrong, I like driving too, but I also like reading, writing, etc during trips and my wife doesn’t like doing anything at all. It’s a win-win situation for both of us.

Of course, we aren’t driving every day, so it is equally good that I get up earlier than the rest of my crew. For me, sleeping in means getting up at 07:30. For the rest of them it means getting up closer to 10:00. That gives me a good 2 hours to work (even accounting for things like coffee and shower).

It has been a fantastic thing for me. I know if I were at home I would be coming up with many excuses to do other things (around the house) and the book would continue to sit neglected.

I’m pretty stoked about this because I have set a hard deadline of July 31st to finish editing and it looks like I’m going to hit it. The bonus for me is I have been holding off any new writing until this is done and I have several stories clamoring to get out of my brain and on to the printed page.

And today, you get two posts for the price of one. You see, the story I’m editing is one that I’ve also done a major rewrite to. The story has undergone several edits and (hopefully) this will be the last one prior to a publisher accepting it.

But I have learned something valuable about it. In a nutshell, the more you tinker with something the more that can go wrong with it.

Let me explain.

When I first wrote the story, I did a couple edits to it and pronounced it finished. It was reasonably well written and grammatically sound, but it had one problem: it was dull.

So I performed the major rewrite. In the rewrite some sections went away completely, others were heavily revised, new scenes were added and some were left alone. The story was MUCH better. The problem is (and I’m seeing it now during this round of edits) by doing this rewrite I’ve introduced all sorts of minor errors.

There are small continuity problems, incomplete sentences and incorrect words throughout (usually due to a single letter being accidently removed). There is also the problem that I think I can do so much more with the characters. And I probably can, but if I let myself fall into that trap, I’ll never finish writing the story.

So, I’m finishing the editing and when this round is done, I’m sending it to the publisher. If the publisher decides it needs more editing, THEN and only then will I dig into it again.

Personal Update

The big update this time around is the upcoming story I’ve read for ‘Get Published’. This story represents the first time I’ve ever had any of my work available to read/listen to by anyone other than a critique group. It also represents the beginnings of the world I created for my fantasy novel. While it is 10 years old and definitely not as good as what I write now, I still think it was a good story.

I hope you enjoy it and I encourage you to tell me what you think. Don’t be afraid, I promise I won’t bite either. Critiques of the story pointing out both good and bad are welcome.


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