Adventures in Editing

I would say that one of my favorite parts of writing has always been the excitement of starting new projects. It hasn’t, so far, been in editing what I have written. But I am working on it. πŸ˜€

Having committed to writing every day, I find I have started a lot, but haven’t truly finished much. This new year, while committing to write every day again, I have also committed to finishing the book I have been fooling around with but haven’t pulled together. I need to get it truly finished.

Unfortunately, I am in a bit of a tough place with my current work in progress right now.

In an effort to move forward with editing this novel, I have started submitting to my critique group for some much needed feedback. One major challenge of submitting for feedback is that the earlier chapters are such a mess. I’ve scrapped some of the original opening and rearranged others parts. Simply put, it needs a lot of work.

My most recent submission for critique was a “chapter” that had elements of an original introduction (which I had actually scrapped at one point but that had some key points I didn’t want to just leave out) mixed in with a rather poorly developed scene. The submission read more like notes on a chapter than an actual chapter, as one of the group astutely pointed out.

While I was aware of some of the bigger issues, I submitted for critique anyway just to get them further into story. The group pointed out a lot of the issues I knew were there, some with more diplomacy than others, but they also made a few very helpful observations that I hadn’t thought about before.

The issue that really concerned me, though, was the direction they felt the book is headed, as it is not at all the direction I am headed.

As a result, I’m afraid a major component just needs changing because this is not the book I am wanting to write. Now I am feeling a need to make some more cuts and to make some bigger changes to the beginning and to a few key concepts.

The good news is, that as hard as it always is to have people read your unpolished work, offering up the work can result in some helpful insight. Insight, like in this case, that can lead to an edit you might not have realized you needed to make.

Now the task for me is deciding how to fix it and to move forward. πŸ˜€

Have a great week everyone!

~CJS

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Editing

  1. sounds like you are at quite a turning point. But better now than to have reached the end and finding yourself starting over. Plus, it can be harsh but it’s real when folks point out what you already knew deep in your gut. Slash and burn – good luck

  2. Remember remember remember … you did all of that over a year ago and didn’t go back to it. So, yes, edits will help. Also keep in mind that sometimes the story will lead you where you don’t want to go because it might want to go there. If it continues to fight you in that respect you will waste a lot of energy and tears trying to make it do what you want. Plus, you can always cut the whole scene and rewrite or not. It’s YOUR story.

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