Thursday, July 10, 2014

Everybody know what time it is?

It's content edit time!

I received the first round of editorial notes for my next 18th century novel, The Wood's Edge, yesterday evening. I've just completed the preliminary step I've always taken in tackling a content edit. That's a whole book there on my kitchen table, one chapter per card, 40 cards. The yellow sticky notes (you may recall) denote changes that need to be made in that chapter.

Those aren't all the changes, those are just the additions! The trimming and tightening... I think I'll leave that for last, when the bumped-up word count resulting from all the additions will prove a HUGE motivator. :)

Content edits are the most intense phase of writing for me, and this time I have just under a month to get this done. Pray for me, I'm going in!

15 comments:

  1. Praying ! You know were here to support and encourage you ! The Lord be with you and bless your writing.
    Hugs
    Linda

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    1. Thank you SO much, Linda! Knowing you are there, praying and waiting, is a huge encouragement.

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  2. So cool to get a look into your process! Thanks for sharing!

    Beth

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    1. My pleasure! I don't know any other writer who tackles a content edit this way. I admire those brains who can keep an entire manuscript hidden on a computer and still remember everything about it. I need visuals. :)

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  3. Praying you get direction and strength! Goodness, what a process but I can tell you I have read both novels and loved them both....so plow through! You have many avid readers awaiting! :)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! I'm so glad you enjoyed Burning Sky and Tamsen Littlejohn. I've noticed I don't type out that second title in full much anymore. Ha. Teach me to choose such a long one. The Wood's Edge is much easier to type out, and considering the countless number of times I have to do so....

      But I do adore The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, long though she be, and was so glad that title made it all the way through the publishing process.

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  4. What a neat way to get organized! I'm always looking for better ways to handle the editing process. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Like I mentioned above in another comment, I need to have the whole book in front of me to begin with, so I can map out my plan of attack, and spend a day or two with it like that, just circling that table and thinking, and slapping down my notes. If the story is tucked away on the computer, I tend to only focus on what's on the screen and lose track of everything else. I also think, having worked out most of the changes I'll make to the whole book ahead of time makes the process of rewriting go smoother. I don't have to stop and wonder what to do next, as much. Of course, like with plotting a novel in the first place, there's always room for surprises and sudden inspiration. In fact, I count on those. It's part of what makes this novel writing thing fun.

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  5. How exciting, Lori! Will pray for you, friend, as you work to make what I'm sure is already a beautiful story even more so. So fun to get a peek into another step of your writing process!

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    1. Thank you, Kiersti! You are such a blessing. :) I'm praying for you too and looking forward to October.

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  6. Love this, Lori. I drafted a book in November (terribly, I might add!), and I've only looked at it once since then, between edits on another book. Now I'm back in research mode (to refresh from all those months away), and when I open the document again (due in September), I'm not sure how I'll begin. This seems really helpful.

    I'd love to hear sometime about your experience writing one novel and researching for another. I have found it mind boggling.

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    1. It's hard to have to take a break from a book, then get back to it after an extended time away. There's always that ramp process, gearing up, getting back into that groove. Lots of gear grinding!

      Thus far I haven't had to research one book while writing another. This is because the first three books of mine contracted were already written before the contracts were signed. So the research was for the most part done.

      What is new for me, and challenging? This year I'm working on the sequel to The Wood's Edge (it's a two book series) and have been researching and writing the second book, which picks up where TWE leaves off, so the research is at least about the same time period and setting, although there are events particular to the second book. As for what comes after these books, I really can't say--I don't know yet. I'm focusing on getting this second book done by deadline, working around the editing schedule I've just begun (which will include line edits, and copy edits, and proofing typeset pages, off and on for the next few months). I'm still getting used to writing a book, while editing a book, and promoting books already published. I don't think I have the right sort of brain to try and research one book and write another if they aren't connected closely, because I research before AND while I'm writing. It just wouldn't work for me. I'd blow a gasket! :)

      I hope that's at least as clear as mud. :)

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    2. PS: research for one novel includes my reading 40-50 books on various subjects... that's why I continue to research while writing, and editing too, actually. Until the last deadline, in fact. There just isn't enough time to do all the research before beginning to write. I have to be strategic about it and get the bare bones research done first, then refine it, and refine it, while I write. And the writing process throws up all sorts of things I wouldn't have known I needed to know, before I began.

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  7. {{{{HUGS}}}} Lori, it's a touch job, but you're up to it!

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    1. Thanks, Zan Marie! Yes, I am. Already making good headway as I implement all those pretty yellow notes. It's an amazingly simple way to get the big picture with a content edit, and keeps me rolling along as I knock out the big changes first, saving the little ones for a second, and full, read through in hard copy.

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