Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Edit and Wednesday's Writing Update

*Welcome,  A to Zers, Crusaders, and other dear friends! I will be getting to your blogs as soon as possible. It’ll take a bit of time, and it’s slow-going. I am reading the posts, though. Thanks for sticking with me during the craziness of April.*

I work as a freelance editor for a small publisher. I love my job, but I must admit I wasn’t too certain about how to edit someone else’s work, much less my own. Grammar and spelling wise, I do well. I blame it on my advanced grammar class my senior year of high school and studying grammar for five other languages besides English. Everything else revolves around what I’ve read in books, blogs, from critique partners, and any other snippet of information I hear from the professionals. The key with editing comes with keeping this phrase in mind: “What can I do to make this book better?”

There are some things I look for when editing:
Unnecessary words/phrases
Understanding of a sentence
Tense changes
Importance of scenes/sections/sentences and their placement within the novel as a whole
Repetitive phrases/words

There are probably more, but these come to mind. An edit, of course, is different from the critique where you are looking at things in the big picture and pinpoint repetitive problems/behaviors. 

A fun website to use to find those pesky adverbs, passive verbs, weak words, etc. is EditMinion. I wouldn't use it solely, but it can help.

What do you look for when you edit?

Now on to this week’s Wednesday Writing Update.

As you can see, I’m doing the A to Z Challenge. It’s been great, a bit chaotic, but fun.

Last weekend, I wrote a scene in a secret project and finished writing my ancient Mesopotamian zombie story “Ereshkigal’s Revenge.” I’m submitting it today to Through the Eyes of the Undead 2.

I revised and edited my query letter for Virtuoso. It’s back with the fabulous Lynnette Labelle for another critique.

I edited the first five chapters of Virtuoso Sunday and Monday. Now I can begin rewrites for the other chapters. My goal is to rewrite through chapter 14 by the end of April and chapter 28 (last chapter) by the end of May.

I have four more short stories I’d like to write. I’m going to try to take one a weekend, and I’m working on two assignments (an edit and a critique) for PWP.


Beth said...

Thanks for the editing info.

kjmckendry said...

I look for word usage and flow. I'm always looking for a better word. But I'm terrible with commas!

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks for sharing what you look for as an editor. Commas are difficult. I have to agree with kmckendry. Also, using the same word often!


Jack Edwards Poetry said...

Thanks for sharing your info. Good post.

Nicole Zoltack said...

It depends. I am both a content editor and a line editor for MuseItUp. For content, I pay more attention to the plot and the characters. Make sure the characters grow, are realistic in their actions, their dialogue, consistency not only with action but also their appearance, that kinda of thing. Line edits is more grammar-oriented.

Christine Rains said...

I try to make sure all the spelling and grammar mistakes are caught. I look at the flow of things and for repetitive words and phrases. Yet it's the story I look at the most. A few little technical errors can be forgotten if the story is great or horrible. Though it's very good to have a clean manuscript, it doesn't help if the story itself is flawed.

And, oh! Thanks for that link! ^_^

Kerri Cuev said...

Great editing advice, thanks! Good luck with the A-Z challange!

Bish Denham said...

I like your list of things to look for while editing. Very helpful. And thanks for the link!

Kris said...

Those are some great tips. I think I'm on top of some of those, but I still think fresh eyes help polish any project.

Terri Talley Venters said...

Great tips. I'm going to try the Edit Minion on my sequel. I now look for POV too. oops. I just want the other characters to have feelings too, just need to show it. Speaking of show, I'm learning show vs. tell, but it's challenging. =)

Trisha said...

Thanks for the link to EditMinion, looks interesting :D

Tamara McRill said...

Can't wait to try out EditMinion! Thanks for the link. I have comma issues, so try to really look at those.

Soooz Burke said...

Greetings from Australia, and thank you for a very informative post.

I like the look and feel of your site so am now following.

I look forward to learning more about your work, during the A-Z challenge.

Aubrie said...

Wow, you have a lot of comments! Good luck with your zombie story! Keep me updated with the result!

alberta ross said...

that edminion looks interesting have just tried it and could immediatly see a problem with the extract - thanks for that link