Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"E" is for Endless Editing

Remember Kathleen Turner at the beginning of "Romancing the Stone" as she sits at her typewriter and finishes her book! Voila! Done! Another masterpiece!
Real writing is not like that. Writing the book was the easy part!


ndless and Editing are probably going to be repeated, with all us writers...oh well! That's where I am in the process, that's why it's called Endless! "Writing a Book" Fridays is my diary about the writing process, but I'm using it for E.

First enjoy the afterglow of finishing a book. Then dive in. I began by making sure the story and its timelines were straight. I also put a sample of my work out for critique.

Guess what! When I got my critique back, I was info dumping, head hopping and as-you-know-Bob-bing!
I had no idea how much I had to learn. I will elaborate on these faux pas. The Other Side of the Story w/ Janice Hardy has some great writing tips and I put related articles with each term.

Info Dumping.
When you write a story, your characters have backgrounds,why they are where they are and how they act. You may think the reader wants to know all that, but they don't. They want to know what's happening to him now. This background info is more for the author to reference. It's called BACK STORY. We need to show the MC's substance in their dialog and actions. You can give some back story to move the plot along, just be careful. You have to disguise it so the reader doesn't know you're doing it. Article: info dumping

Head hopping.
I was making people dizzy! Head hopping is when you change your point of view in the middle of a scene.
Example: Sam wanted to tell Julie he liked her but his words knotted in his throat. Julie liked him too and wished Sam would hold her hand.
That hopped from his head to hers. It's confusing and annoying! Even if you are omniscient, it is best to stay in one head for a chapter or scene. Article: head hopping

As You Know, Bob.
This is similar to info dumping, but used in dialog. It is an explanation of something everyone in the story already knows, except the reader. It is usually explained by a teacher or technical person to a subordinate. Descriptions can be done in better ways. Article: Bob

These things chop up your story. The reader has to pause in the action to figure it out or listen to a lecture. The story needs to flow smoothly. Stay in one head and give details creatively, when it comes up and is absolutely necessary.

Here are some quotes from well known authors on editing.
And this is a great list of things to watch out for from agent Rachelle Gardner.

As I've said before, I'm organized (tho if you popped in on me, you'd never know it) I am breaking it down into goals, tackling one or two things at a time. If you have advice, I'd love to hear it!
Now it is time to turn a good story into a great, sellable story.  Happy writing!

11 comments:

Alexis Bass Writes said...

Info dumping is SO hard to catch on your own, I think. I always feel silly when my critique group points out that I haven't given the reader enough credit, haha.

Great quotes too!

Tim Riley said...

Haven't got to the editing phase yet with my first book. Planning on finishing in June and then editing in July and August. Thanks for this post-gives me some things to guide the process.

C R Ward said...

I love Romancing the Stone! :-)

I have no problem when it comes to editing other people's work (that's why they pay me ;-) ) but editing my own work is a whole different story. You're right, it can seem endless. Critique groups and Beta readers are worth their weight in gold.

India Drummond said...

I had forgotten about Romancing the Stone.. what a great movie that was!

I had no idea how much I had to learn before I got to work with a professional editor. And I had thought I was pretty good with this stuff. After all, I had studied creative writing at University! Nope... I had a LOT to learn. A LOT! LOL

muso-blog-hog said...

Thanks for an informative post ! We never stop learning . We learn something new every day , whether consciously or sub-consciously .

~MICHELLE~

Taryn Tyler said...

I've never heard As you know bob glitch labeled that way before. Could be a very useful term to adapt. Also romancing the stone is a great movie.

Empty Nest Insider said...

These are great tips! Romancing the Stone was a fantastic movie. Thanks for visiting me, I look forward to seeing you again. Julie

Cathy said...

Great advice. I'll be back. Thanks for following me ;)

Catherine Lavoie said...

Endless and editing go so well together! Great E entry! Thanks for the very informative post! :)

Tara Tyler said...

You are all so nice! Thanks for the comments and I'm really glad you like my stuff =)

I love to share! This challenge is great!

sema said...

Very Informative tips.

sema

Thanks for your visit and comment.