jana_denardo: (darkest midnight)

I've had my ten days to edit my novel Kept Tears which would be fine without, you know that day job (which I'm highly unlikely to quit) and the idea they wanted a few things that meant adding scenes. I definitely felt the push but in a good way. I'm grateful that ninety-percent of the edits were mostly cosmetic or simple fixes. I had to remove one scene but that was mostly painless, if touch ego bruising.

But what about editing isn't ego bruising? I swear part of DSP's method of editing reminds me of being back in class. They highlight the superfluous words. Now they made many many of the little wording changes themselves but those they highlighted. It was like being hit on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. See these? DON'T DO THAT! And trust me I deserved that newspaper to the nose.

Did I REALLY just put the word 'just' 6 times in three paragraphs?!? Look I just stuck in that sentence AND this one. I TALK this way. I think this way. Great, my brain is superfluous. I also overuse the word 'that.' I don't know where a damn comma goes but if you want someone to come sprinkle the word 'just' through your manuscript like a mad fairy, come talk to me. Head desk.

Ego bruising, yes. Eye opening, you bet. And in the two scenes I added in, I did a damn search for those words even though I was consciously not typing them and sure enough, at least a dozen of them. Blinks. Wow. I'm blind to it but at least now, I know to look chapter by chapter as I get them done and tighten them up before they even get to the first reader so it was a lesson well learned.

I did talk the edits over with my friends at the university. We have a strange mash up of coworker/friends, half English dept and half School of Science (me). The writing professors were very surprised by the autonomous body part thing. They've never heard it was not right to use things like his hips writhed or his fingers tapped out a drum cadence. I wish the two younger English profs were there since I'm thinking it might be a newer thing. I'll be honest, I made the changes DSP asked for but to me, it looks wrong and sounds clunky.

And not only do I have the novel done, I've sent in If Two of Them Are Dead, the Steampunk mystery. I'm still more than a little happy that DSP liked it so much when I sent it in for the Steamed Up anthology that they asked for it once I made it into a novella. It actually nosed into long novella territory, so that's twice as long as it was when they first saw it. Part of me is still afraid they'll see what I did and change their mind. On the other hand, I love Victor and Abraham and I think the story is SO much better now than it was. WHY do I always try to write a damn mystery for short stories?? I don't know how the writers for Ellery Queen did it because I can not write a short mystery to save my soul. So it's off to enter the editing queue. Wish me luck.


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