The Big Edit Whine

NOTE TO KRISTA: You are not allowed to read this post, because you will gloat all day long!

Okay, here goes…..

I am having a hard time with my edits. Again. Sigh…I know you all think I am the biggest baby in the world, but this editing thing is HARD! I’m still deep in the edits that my editor/dad did for me, and I am bogged down by all the things he has found.

Let me tell you some of my major issues:

  • Paragraph flow. I have some key sentences in my paragraphs that are all good, strong sentences, but they don’t connect well. The sentences don’t always flow in a concise and meaningful way. This tends to happen in reflective passages when my characters are deep in thought.
  • I don’t use commas well. I forget them before “and” when connecting 2 independent thoughts. I use them when I don’t need them too!
  • I’m not descriptive enough. Whether it is the scenery, the imagery, similes, etc…I don’t do it well.
  • I have some character development issues that need to be fixed. For example, I haven’t developed my villain (the abbess at the convent from which my heroine escapes) enough to understand why she does what she does. In avoiding backstory dumping, I am lacking pertinent info needed to make the character believable.

So you see, I have much to keep my busy. I am now wondering how fast my editing will go when I get through with these chapters my dad edited. I KNOW I won’t find as many problems as he did. I do hope, however, that I am learning enough from these first chapters to apply to the latter portion of my WIP.

My only worry is that I am going to fall way behind and LOSE to Krista! Surely I can learn from these first edits and apply them with ease. LOLOLOLOL

I’m cracking myself up here! (And I KNOW good and well that Krista is laughing her head off with glee!) Yes, Krista, I know you are reading my post, even though I told you not to!

35 responses to “The Big Edit Whine”

  1. I find editing MUCH harder than writing. I have edited/rewritten my memoir twice now and it really needs another good edit and still some major rewrites. My problem is pacing. Among spelling and grammar errors galore! i edited it the second time in one month and it was HARD WORK. So don't feel bad. It ISSSSS hard! Whine away. I'll listen 🙂


  2. Editing sounds like its own villian! Keep plucking awat Sherrinda, any progress is better than none at all.

    We all need a soft place to fall, you have it here!


  3. Editing is so difficult! Writing the rough draft involves a time committment. Editing/revising that draft involves a major brain committment. It's tough! You're not alone, sista!


  4. Sorry…. sadly yes, I read it.

    A few notes: Don't over worry about comma's. In fiction, they are kinda (not totally) subjective. I've heard publish authors note that they have their own “style” for comma use… so I wouldn't stress too horribly over that point.

    Second… PUSH THROUGH. It's like a bandaide… fix it and get on with it!

    Thirday… Yes, I am winning. BUT… I haven't gotten to my heart part yet, which is the abyss of the second half of my book which I know needs the most work.

    You can do it, Sherrinda!

    Oh, and a note about description:

    You need it… but this is also TOTALLY about style. I am a minimalist when it comes to description. I don't write very “literary” in style, so I don't have flowing descriptions that knock people stocks off. If I did, it would totally clash with my voice.

    So yes… make sure you give your descriptions well, but also make sure you know what your voice is on that. Let's not spend a paragraph describing a blade of grass… amen?!? *grin*


  5. Oh, I totally do NOT envy you, Sherrinda! Just reading your post and the things you need to change sent me into an editing-attack (kind of like an asthma attack.)I need to go get an inhaler and try to steady my breathing again! Let me tell you this–in my recent edits, I had to do major restructuring too. You can do it!!! Just take it one step at a time and you'll get there!


  6. It's always great to have an accountability partner or a little competition to keep you on track but don't let it hinder, Sherrinda!! Just keep moving ahead, don't let the competition defeat you, rather let it bolster you to finish whether in time or not. Editing is overwhelming, at least it is for me, but with each pass, boy do you get satisfaction from seeing the improvements.

    Good luck, Sherrinda!!


  7. You poor thing! *sympathetic smile*

    Do NOT worry about commas. That can be taken care of lastly. The nun can be fixed and description is subjective. Seriously. You don't need a lot of it if it's not your style, just make sure you set the scene, etc.

    Good luck!


  8. Don't feel bad. I can't even finish writing my last chapter!!


  9. I have comma problems too. Editing is hard, hard work. Just tackle a little everyday and I promise someday it will feel done. 🙂


  10. Oh, Sherrinda, I'm having an anxiety attack from just reading your post. I am deep into my edits as well, and I'm struggling to find the right amount of time in one sitting to give my MS the attenention it needs. So, I'm whining right along with you. You can do it!!! And so can I! hang in there!


  11. I undertand your comma problem. I share in it. One of my professors had a name for me that I won't repeat here. It had a bad word I can't say. She got her point across–but I still use commas way too much!


  12. Sherrinda, keep going, you can do it!

    Editing is hard but I've found it's much easier when you do it in steps. Read through more than once with different things in mind for each time, leaving stuff like commas for the last go-through.


  13. I love this post only because I know I'm not alone. I'm also in the middle of editing – weaving in a new plot thread I came up with thanks to Donald Maass, the pile of comments from two crit groups, deeper characterization/quirks, and sensory information. (I just *love* it when someone tells me they can't smell the bacon in my diner setting. Arrggh.) Did I mention that I hate commas?

    I'm enjoying your race with Krista and pushing myself (very privately) to see how much I can get done by the end of the year.


  14. Oh that Krista 😉 Actually my edits are on par with yours! I have noticed disconnects, and, of, course, I, have, no, idea, where, to, put, a comma, or even how to spell in general. *sigh* OK, now you've really depressed me. Off to edit..


  15. Worry about content over commas! And hang in there. You'll eventually do it.


  16. You can do it, Sherrinda! And what a treasure you have in your dad as a crit partner!

    Once when I joined a new critique group, I got a crit back that made me feel like an absolute DUNCE! I was the SLOW one of the group. I felt so bad when I saw all those markings. But those crits really helped me. And my goal was to give my crit partners less to do with each critique.


  17. I don't know whether first drafts or revisions are harder. But, for some reason, I keep doing both of them anyway. I think it's easier to focus on the revision task at hand than to think of all the revision tasks that have to be done.


  18. Eat Wheaties. And reward yourself after every chapter with a snippet of something you love. A dark Dove bite. A sip of a smoothie. Then take a deep breath, envision the enemy's face, and ATTACK!!!




  19. Hi Sherrinda –

    You can do it! Don't give up.

    I've got the editing blues myself. I went back to Book 1 today, and spent time reading through the first 10 chapters.

    At this point, they look okay, but I made a few minor changes. (Of course, I'm sure a professional editor would find plenty of issues.)

    When I get to chapter 17, that's where I'll have to deal with some re-writing. (It's where I left off when I started Book 2.)



  20. coffee. 😉 … I recommend something with hazelnut … if for no other reason than to give you inspiration to edit one sentence!!


  21. Dear Sherrinda:

    I hate to tell you, dear one, but this is only the first time you will have to edit this baby. Just take a flying pass through it in order to win the game, shout “I did it!” and go back for more punches, ah, edits. Dpn't be too picky this first time around, or you'll kill yourself.

    Love you!


  22. As horrible, aggravting, time consuming and depressing edits can be, I always learn something from them and I've noticed my writing getting better.


  23. Tabitha, thanks for listening! I need a sympathetic ear! 🙂

    Tamika, yes! Editing is rather like a villain, but you are right…a little progress is better than none.

    Katie, I love how you put it…editing requires a major brain committment! So true!

    Krista, so you don't want me writing about the raptures of a blad of grass? Are you sure? lol Thanks for the great advice…you're helping the “enemy”! Aren't you so sweet! You are the best!:)

    Jody, great advice…one step at a time, one page at a time. You are one smart gal!

    Eileen, you right, it's not about the competition, but about my WIP. It doesn't help to motivate me though!

    Thanks, Jessica. I keep hearing the commas are subjective. (at least to a certain degree)Whew!

    Marybeth, woohoo!!! You finished your chapter! And now you can join in on the edit race! 🙂

    Natalie, I totally agree that this editing is really HARD work! I will love to have the feeling that it is DONE! lol

    Heather, YES! We can do it! There is a certain anxiety about it though, isn't there? I keep feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. But I will keep on and some day it will feel done! 🙂

    Kristen! LOL That is funny about your professor! I bet you don't forget the comma rule though! lol

    Cindy, I think that's a good idea about doing the edits in stages. Focus on one thing and then move to the next. Great idea!

    Candee!!!! YES! Join in the race! The more the merrier, girl! I can't imagine ADDING a plot thread. That must be incredibly difficult…talk about anxiety! lol We can get it done!!!

    TAnne, don't let me depress you!!! We can do this edit thing. I am wondering about getting it done by the New Year, but goodness, it will feel good to get alot done!

    Bethany, got it! Content over commas!!! lol

    Erica, I love having my dad help me and I know how lucky I am. I did join a crit group recently, but haven't really started any of it yet. I'm hoping I can get some different perspectives. I think I will be the slow one too!!!

    Kaylie, I try not to look ahead too much, because I would be soooo overwhelmed with all the work that needs to be done! lol

    Patti! LOL…eat wheaties! lol I prefer the Dove chocolates, for sure!

    Susan, there seems to be alot of us bloggers who are editing these days! May we all get finished soon! 🙂

    Jaime, yes!!! Hazelnut coffee! Mmmmmm, that will keep me going!

    Jeannette, I've wondered how many times I will be going through this wip before I feel like it is finally finished. Does it ever feel done? I wonder….

    Thank you everyone for your comments! I have been blessed by them.


  24. Amy, you slipped in on me! 🙂 I know what you mean! What little I've done, I have certainly been learning things about me and bad habits I have! I'm sure I will always be learning! lol


  25. Oh, I share your love hate relationship with Mr. Edit. And as for commas, well, um, I pretty much don't get it yet either! It's hard to stay motivated, but you sound determined. Keep it up!


  26. Jan, I haven't heard of many who like Mr. Edit! But yes, I am determined and I will get it done sooner or later.


  27. Thanks for coming by my blog. I feel for you as you plunge through the editing. I write about 10K and then go back and edit everything I have. I ALWAYS find major problems. My mistakes are easy to find. But the solutions for my mistakes are hard to find!


  28. Yes, edits ARE hard — my sympathies.

    I always sit down and read STRUNK & WHITE'S ELEMENTS OF STYLE cover to cover before I start a novel edit. It takes about an hour and a half, and it makes the overall edit easier.

    I wish you well with them — just think how much better you'll feel when they're DONE!


  29. Hi! Glad I found your blog. I hear ya on the edits. I haven't even started editing my novel yet, though I know it's sadly in need of it. I've moved on to writing the second one. You'll start getting to read chapters from the first one, though, in the critique group…which terrifies me. Anyway, ttyl! ~Margaret


  30. Schmologna, I probably should edit a chunk at a time like you. It would save me time and headaches later, to be sure!

    Devon, thanks for stopping by! How funny that you should mention that book, because my dad gave that to me for my birthday a couple of months ago. I haven't read it all, but now I am thinking I should finish it!!! Thanks for the reminder!

    Embee, I'm so glad you found my blog too! Now I can find YOURS! I looked around but had trouble finding our crit's blogs. 🙂 Can't wait to get to your chapter! I have parties and choir practice the next 2 nights (and I work full time) so it may be a couple of days before I can get to it. But I will!


  31. This is too funny. A contest!

    Reminds me of my two sons who used to turn everything they could into a contest.


  32. OK Sherrinda, I'm in to get this knocked out by new years!


  33. Yeeeesssss! T.Anne, You Can Do It!!!! I'm think we should all send our first chapters to some contest after the New Year!


  34. Revising/editing can be really, really rough. I can't understand why I repeat the same words over and over but never see it on my own!


  35. sounds like its own villian! Keep plucking awat Sherrinda, any progress is better than none at all.

    Work from home India


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