Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finding my editing process

Unlike many writers, I've never been very good at thinking things out on paper. What that really means is I don't like writing longhand. That's right, I have no nostalgia for ink flowing across paper and special writing pens and all those things that so many writers are attached to. I like my cold, clinical word processor. *pets computer*

The thing is, I can type around 70 WPM, but I can't handwrite nearly that fast. There's something to be said about being able to record my thoughts as quick as they come. And the actual writing bit? I like being able to read what I've written and then change it without messy scribbles and wasted paper. Cleanliness is awesome.

Word processors are flexible and they help me focus on what I'm supposed to be doing, whether it's big or little or spread out between four different chapters.

Now why am I telling you this? Because my supposed "editing process"--the one I outlined a few months ago--is completely wrong. Well, not the procrastination bit. That's super accurate. And really, it's not so much that my process was wrong. It was just wrong for me.

How so? Well, I realized how so many writers like to work with paper, and I somehow I convinced myself that it'd would work for me too.

The problem is, when I start editing on paper, I don't think about the rest of the story, just the lines in front of my eyes. I don't even think about the rest of the chapter, just the lines. So my lines become beautiful, but I don't notice that the pacing is bad, or the dialogue is out-of-character, or any of the really important things. My "editing" falls flat because my story lives in my head and somewhere in my fingertips. Not on paper.

So I'm starting over. This time I'm sticking to my word processor. Because while it might be lifeless and dead to you, it's not for me. And maybe I'll get some actual work done this time around.

But before I go, I just wanted to you guys to know: Sometimes it's hard to tell what's working and what isn't. Sometimes you don't realize there's a legitimate reason behind your problems. But that's not a bad thing. In all honesty, you probably needed to do things wrong to understand how to make them right.

Just don't worry, because you're not alone and you will figure it out. <3

So how do you guys feel about the editing process? Have you ever tried to force one method of editing to work for you? Or has everything been hunky-dory from the start? Tell me in the comments.