February 25th 2016
Today, and for the past few days, I actually enjoyed the editing part of the novel writing process.
I finished my first draft years ago, and since then I’ve chipped away at the edit by reading through the word document and changing things here and there. But this week I’ve committed some time to getting out a pen (black pen, because red pen has negative connotations, my teacher friend tells me) and just crossing things out and making changes on the actual page.
I have a 134 page print out of my 60,000 word novel, and before this week I’ve kept it in pristine condition. And now I’ve started scribbling on it. And it’s so much more productive than just reading through a word document. Something about seeing ink on paper makes the sentences easier to read, and thus the mistakes easier to spot.
It’s difficult, because I know the book so well it’s tempting to skip words because I know what the sentence says before I read it, but during this process I have to be vigilant and precise. Occasionally it’s a missing word, or a repeated word, or a mistype, or something that doesn’t quite read well. And I just cross it out, or give it a little ^ so I can add a word in the margin. I aim to make a change on every page, and that’s not hard at all. It’s amazing how many necessary changes I’ve found.
Today I only had 45 minutes for editing, but I wanted longer. Because doing it this way isn’t as monotonous as just reading the entire script again. It’s almost fun. And it’s left me looking forward to tomorrow because it means I can get up and carry on editing. Because doing this feels productive, and it feels like I’m getting somewhere. And I’m liking that feeling.
I was contemplating hiring someone to do the edit externally, I tried to enrol my old English teacher but she accepted the task and then never got back to me, but now I may put that off because I’m enjoying doing it myself. It’s unprofessional, and probably incorrect, but I’m doing it, because otherwise it won’t get done.
Until tomorrow, get it done.