I got the next set of edits back from my editor. Most of the work was simple mistakes I made so it was easy just to make the changes she suggested. However, there were two sections that needed significant rewrites. One is part of an emotional scene. I have spent the last three weeks correcting and recreating this scene. Today I’m celebrating because I finally got it. It sounds right now.
Now on to the next scene. Hopefully it won’t be as difficult to fix.
Deadlines, Energy and Focus are all connected for me. When I come up against a deadline it increases my energy and focus to finish and made that deadline. Focus has been difficult for me lately because of life is getting in the way of what I have been trying to get done.
The pressure of a deadline gives me energy and that increases my focus. The deadline for the edits on my manuscript is coming up fast. And I am excited to see my focus is improving so I can get more editing completed. It is important do to what is necessary to find the focus necessary to do a good job on anything.
I’m often asked when I am writing and editing whether or not deadlines help me. And the answer for me is yes, they do. In my blog on Saturday, I talked about Dawdling and Deadlines. I have a tendency to dawdle when I don’t have a deadline.
Deadlines give me energy and help my focus. That energy gives me the drive to get my work done, regardless what part of my life I am talking about. My problem is there is a thin line between counting on the energy and deadline to get a job done and the time things actually take to get done.
I know people who have deadlines they have completed that are days and weeks away. Some days I wish I was one of them, but I’m not. I don’t feel like I dawdle because I am constantly working on things. But it seems like I am always having to push at the last minute to get the project completed.
Right now, I am working on the edits for my manuscript and despite working on it every day, I still feel like I am running behind. I am determined to get this edit done on time. Therefore, no more dawdling by writing blogs. Time to work on edits so I will meet my deadline.
When I tell people about the book I am writing, they frequently ask how long I have been working on it. I hate to say it, but the answer is around fifteen years. That seems like a very long time.
Now, that seems like a really long time, but the truth is that is not the only thing I was doing during that time. Ignoring all the time I spent on life—family, day-job, health, housekeeping, etc.—I also wrote six other novels which are in various stages of editing so I can submit them. But what I want to talk about here is the work on this specific book.
Editing my manuscript can get discouraging. My wonderful editor found a lot of things I need to review and consider. Note, I don’t have to change everything, but I do have to consider quite a lot. Just glancing at the manuscript is enough to make me run and hide.
However, I have found a way to keep working. My editor color-coded all the things I need to consider making some pages quite colorful.
Now I am a person who loves to watch bubbles floating through the air. When I look at a page with a lot of color, I am mentally turning them into bubbles and watch them float over the page.
I decided on this year’s A to Z Challenge, I would write about my writing journey getting my manuscript ready to be published. I have passed the hurdles of writing and having my book accepted for publication by the Prism Book Group. I am now in the process of editing the book.
One would think I am annoyed by all the things the editor told me to change. But I am not. I am annoyed because I keep running into things I did wrong. And I know I did them wrong. It is a perfect example of the fact it is almost impossible for an author to edit her own work.
I’m still thinking about what I learned from Erin Healey at the Peak Writing Conference. My editor’s mind is still struggling she said with which I had a mixed reaction. She said authors should not be too concerned with copy editing (punctuation, grammar, etc.) and to be more focused on things like characterization, plot, sequence – basically structure issues. She very briefly mentioned making sure the copy issues were addressed but didn’t elaborate.
I agree structure issues are the most important. Copy problems are easy fixes for the editor.
Since Monday is my day to blog as an editor, I decided to talk about something I’ve seen a lot of lately and which is frustrating me. When is it proper to use a dash or an ellipsis? What is the difference?
To make the answer more frustrating for me, I was recently at a presentation by a well-known, multi-published author who gave a partially wrong answer to this question. So here is what I know. Feel free to argue with me if you disagree.
A dash indicates a sudden or harsh interruption, especially in dialogue. An ellipsis indicates words left out of a quotation or a soft pause.