Sunday, October 26, 2014

Editing – learning the tricks of the trade give me, and readers, a treat

The act of writing books is broken up into separate tasks…you have an idea for a story, you use that idea to write a book, and eventually you publish your novel for others to enjoy.

But there is so much more to writing than that!

The ideas are the easy part, at least for me.  They hit me at various times, day or night, and I just have to pay attention, write them down, and use whichever idea is the most persistent.

Writing is the fun part.  You learn about your characters and make discoveries about the plot you thought you already knew as the story unfolds and provides you with exciting surprises.

Before a book can be published, it must be read, reviewed, tweaked, reviewed again, added to, taken away from, read and reviewed again before it’s finally ready for publishing.  The trick is to know when it’s finally ready. 

And that’s not always an easy trick to learn.

I’ve dealt with the editing part of writing a few different ways…I’ve used proofreaders, beta readers, my own reviews and a professional editor.  All are good but I’m learning as I go and I agree with the consensus out there…it’s better to use all rather than only one.  Doing so is the best way to reassure the writer that the book may actually be ready for publishing.

I hired someone new to edit the third book in my mystery series and I have to say this…it has made the editing part of writing less stressful than ever.  I enjoyed her feedback, the tips she shared, her insight as a first-time reader of my work and her professionalism when it came to how to make the story read better.  It still takes time, and I still have to keep my patience when it comes to this process, but this time around my patience was tested less because the editing process was much easier and also more beneficial for me in the long-term.

I’m learning more this time around, and that’s a good thing.  The tricks I’m learning from the editor with this book will help me as I move on to the next.  The difficult part, I think, is that I want to go back to my earlier books and use these tools to make those stories even better.  Maybe, someday I will. 

Until then, I’m going to continue to write more books and I’ll continue to use the tricks and tools I’ve learned to make each book better than the next.  I’ve had so much fun with the third book in the series, not only while writing it but also while reviewing it again as I complete the edits, and I can’t wait to share the story with everyone.  I know I keep saying it’ll be published soon…so now I ask for your patience.  The word “soon” is a relative term, I realize, and in the publishing world, doesn’t quite mean the same as it might in the real world.  So bear with me…rather than using the word “soon,” I’ll say the date is near and the book will be ready as soon as possible given the remaining tasks at hand. 

A bit ambiguous, I know.  So here’s something with less ambiguity…I hope you have a wonderful week! 

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