A New Year’s Resolution: may your papers bleed red ink

Well it has been a month since my last post.  The month of November was dedicated to writing a novel, and if you remember (or care) I really did not succeed as well as I’d have liked.  However, I learned a lot about writing and discipline.

I am happy to say that I have written another ten thousand words on that particular story (Yeah, go me!). It is encouraging to see a story come to life and still have the desire to see it to completion.  Sometimes the story is just too overwhelming. Anyway, that is not the point of this post.

I want to look at a new year and a new month with a little more focus and clarity (not much of a good start, really).

New Years is full of resolutions, the hope for change and the realization that those resolutions are about as effective as asking a first grader to edit a paper – there will be an attempt, but it won’t be pretty and the end result may be a messy scribble of red crayon on white paper.  Like my resolution to try and write a novel in a month, most resolutions have strong beginnings, a weaning off period by the end of the week, a struggle to regain some ground by the third week and the profound comfort of strong coffee and a movie to ease away the guilt of neglect by the fourth week. (You can see that I am very hopeful!)

Writing projects are like new year’s resolutions but even more so are the editing projects. All those finished or unfinished stories from last year need to be looked at, revised, revisited, edited, and completely rewritten. Nothing is ever finished until it is published and even then there is no guarantee that it is at its best.

I do a lot of editing for Lantern Hollow and I have come up with several methods for editing (I am still not convinced which way I like best).  I want to take the next couple of weeks to focus on these concepts and methods..

I have a few disclaimers about editing to start with…

  • I am terrible at editing…MY OWN stuff. I can read a run-on sentence that I wrote all day and I won’t see it.  A misplaced modifier will always look “alright” to me if I wrote it.  I need more than a week away from something I wrote before I can safely edit it and even then I will not see all of my mistakes. My brain sort of auto corrects things for me without telling me.  It is a bit of an annoying habit really.  I think this is caused by something like dyslexia or maybe it is dyslexia – I am not sure.  Either way, it is a challenge that I have had to deal with since I started writing.
  • I like editing.  I like reading stories and papers and finding the missing pieces or trying to figure out why or how a sentence doesn’t work.  It is a puzzle.  Sometimes a sentence or idea doesn’t work because I, as the editor, have preconceived notions about meanings and tone.  I like expressing and articulating such distinctions.
  • Editing is tedious work and even the best of us makes mistakes.

But there are methods and ways around the challenges of editing.  So, in the next three posts I’ll be discussing editing tips, hints and means of editing that will hopefully help you.

In the mean time – happy writing!


About LizzyBeth

There is a Story inside of me that I must give a voice. I write so that imagination can take me to Faerie and I can catch a glimpse of the Otherworld and hopefully so will you.

Posted on January 4, 2013, in Editing, Humor, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Literary Criticism, Rachel Burkholder, Writing Hints and Helps and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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