This month Rhobin has asked us to consider: All books go through multiple edits. What have
your learned are your problems, and what irks you about editing?
I overuse ‘that’ and I have the playwright’s inability to describe scenes and thoughts. Worse than both of those, I have the problem resolved by the end of chapter one.
Many writers have a word/s. Favourites are that, just, like, okay, anyway, Well..
I’m sure you pick up the idea. When the wonderful Judy Roth, my editor at MuseItUp pointed out to me how often I used ‘that’ I was horrified. It is, however, an easy issue to tackle. Whatever your word/s is/are a quick find search will show you where the devils are lurking and you can amend the text.
Withholding information was another issue I struggled with when I changed from writing drama to prose. Drama allows you to expect there will be input from an actor and a director. You don’t need, and in fact would be daft, to explain what the character is thinking. Expression is the actor’s job assisted by input from the director.
In prose, this is not the case. The reader needs a few clues. If the heroine is shredding her reticule with her fingers, the reader knows she’s agitated. If she’s sitting peacably at the side of the room, the reader has no clue she’s so worked up it was inevitable she would fire the gun…
It’s all very well to surprise your reader, but not to trick them.
However, that kind of editing is fine by me. I actually rather enjoy it. What causes me sleepless nights and endless re-writing is the structural stuff. It is my natural disposition to explain things to people. Useless for any kind of fiction. If the hero and heroine are in complete agreement about the perfidy of his mother by the end of chapter one then there is no point in writing the rest of the book. There is no rest of the book. It has taken me years to understand I do this.
What irks me about editing is missing things. I hate opening the finished file and finding a mistake on page three. How did that happen?
Capital Writer, Jane Riddell has written a book on the subject Go here to Words’worth.
My fellow scribes share their own pet peeves. Why not pop over and check them out?
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Anne Stenhouse https://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1UN
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com