Writing Weekend

We’ve had a nice, long President’s Day weekend, and I’ve spent most of it writing. It’s been nice. (It helps that it’s pouring rain here in So. Cal and no one wants to go out.)

I’m trying to catch up on some edits I needed to do for the second of my three books I’m working on. I sent the manuscript out to Harlequin for critique, and they sent back a really nice writeup with tons of encouragement and very specific recommendations. All very doable. So now I just need to … do.

I’ve been an editor my entire adult life, but I’m used to editing small chunks of material at a time. But editing your own novel — which is a full 100,000+ words (!) — is really daunting. (It takes me a whole weekend to skim 100,000 words, let alone ponder and edit each sentence!) I keep having to start over, tackling small sections. I’m not sure I’m doing this in the most efficient way, but I’m doing it in the only way I know how.

Anyway, I wrote a permanent page here on the blog called “Currently Writing” about where each book is in the writing and editing process. My very favorite stage is the “Fast First Draft,” and I have one book there that I love working on. But I have two at the last stage, awaiting their revisions, and I need to dedicate some time to them so I can finish. (That’s what I worked on this weekend!)

Drop me a line if you have any questions, any encouragement, or — absolutely — any recommendations for how to edit 100,000 words smoothly! I’d love to hear from you readers and writers!

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0 thoughts on “Writing Weekend

  1. I’d make a list of the Harlequin comments (if you’re trying to sell to Harlequin), then read them again carefully. Once you’ve read them again, then take the first three to five chapters of your book and apply the suggested changes. Continue doing this until the book is done. 🙂 Good luck!

  2. Thanks, Jordan! I can see that as an important step — the list and the rereading. Because it’s easy to interpret it one way, but when you make an actual list, you might interpret differently. I keep rereading the letter, but I think I’ll try this, too — actually rewriting in list format. I imagine some new light will be shed! Thanks mucho!

  3. Hmmmm…editing 100,000 pg. manuscript. I have a side business where I edit ms. for other writers. It is so much easier than editing my own, I think, because we are so close to our own books. I like to take it 3 chapters at a time, taking time to make sure ending sentences are backloaded if need be. Divide the number of pages into 4 so that the ending of the first quarter is the first turning point of the book (give or take a few pages). Half way is the major turning point, etc. For example, 400 pg. book divided by 4 is 100 pages. End of first 100 pgs. is the first turning point. Pg. 200 is the major turning point. Pg. 300 is the third turning point. Last 100 pgs. is black moment, climax and resolution. Of course, all the while remembering that the end of the third ch. should be a wammy too.
    The fun of it all!!!

  4. Hey, Joan! Welcome! And thanks for the advice. That makes a lot of sense. So you’re dividing it basically into its four acts? Good plan. …

    I just worry that I never have time to read it straight through, for continuity. I guess I’ll just have to set aside a full 8 hours (in some magical universe) where I can read from start to finish with no interruption, just to make sure it all holds together. Maybe I’ll just have to plan some Saturday or Sunday where I clear the family calendar and go hide at a park or something???

  5. Oh my GAWD!! CONGRATS TO YOU! Seriously, my dream. Of course, it would be nice if I actually started writing to get my dream realized… anyway, back to YOU!

    I’ve only read over my BIL’s three books and gave it to him for edits and comments. I’m not that great of an editor but I adore reading and loved giving him comments (although I felt a little bad). He appreciated them though and kept asking me to go back. It was easiest to go in small chapters like other people said.

    But, I haven’t really looked around your blog for details about you (just saw your Twitter follow – then saw you read SEP, one of my FAVS!!! and scrolled down to this post which caught my interest…) so you do sound a little pressed for time… My only time is at night with two kiddos.. but I’m so excited for you!!

    Adding you to my blog reader to catch up with you later when I have more TIME!

  6. Hi, Kristi! Welcome! Well, I will definitely encourage you to write if you want to write! If it’s a dream, there’s no reason you can’t do it. …. well … hmmm … except the two kiddos … okay, I’ll give you that one! It *is* very, very hard to write (or do anything for more than 20 minutes in a row, actually) when you have small children. I will back that up 100%, because heaven knows, I tried! : ) But hang on to your ideas for what you want to write and jot down notes for now. … (and enjoy every minute with your kids because that time truly does fly by!). Soon enough, you’ll have more time to do more writing or editing for BIL or whatever you like to do. I encourage you! I love SEP also. She’s at the top of my list, along with Jenny Crusie and others. Stop by the “Currently Reading” page and give me your reviews of any new SEPs you’ve read!

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