In approximately 5 days & 2 hours I will be editing my novel. At least, that was the plan, but the printer we ordered arrived way ahead of schedule. Which means the editing will begin – gulp – today. Or maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow is good, too. [note: meme is based on THIS AMAZING BLOG POST by Chuck Wendig – read it and enrich yourself.]
In case you’re wondering, this is the first novel I’ve ever completed. Which naturally means its absolute crap, but it’s my crap. I’m going to polish it until it is somewhat shiny crap then I’m going to send it to other people so they can tell me it’s still just sort of shiny crap. After that I’ll put on my Nitrile gloves, sift through it, re-polish and wax on and wax off until eventually, in my little poop-nugget, I’ll find a peanut worth salvaging which I will carve into something that looks vaguely book-like.
Long story short: I am maybe freaking out a little bit.
Why am I freaking out? It’s just editing, right? IT’S NOT JUST EDITING. It requires ripping the still-beating heart from your chest and slamming it against the pages of your book until you create life.
Maybe it’s not quite that dramatic. But here’s the thing: I’m a planner. My bestie and I took our first trip to Europe in May of 2012 and I made a personalized guide book that included maps and local slang. We didn’t plan out every iota of our day, but we did plan out the basic structure of the trip – the where, how and when for the major stops.
Anyway, that’s kinda-sorta how I rolled with my book. I planned out the major plot points, the characters etc, but I left a lot of the mushy middle and other details up to whatever the hell mood I was in the day I was writing that section.
That’s not what worries me. I can fix that. I can be more diligent of those things in the future (hey –first book, I get do-over’s). And I’m not worried that I’m going to have to re-write the whole damn book because I already KNOW that will happen (again – first book. Its crap, remember?).
What worries me – and this may be completely stupid and Type A of me – is keeping my editing organized. I’ve never had to do it before, so I don’t have a system and I’m not sure what works.
I know some writers use note-cards stuck to a corkboard or a wall. Some use Scrivener or various other programs. I don’t know what to use. I think in the long run keeping everything digital will be more useful to me, but what if I want to spread it all out in front of me or throw things in the air?
What system do you use for editing? What tips/tricks have you unearthed?
Also: when editing, do you work on other projects?