Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Crochet, Contests, and Cutting up plot lines

My hands are always busy.

And despite being able to type 120 words per minute, I can only edit a document so fast.  Rearranging words takes A LOT more time.

Unlike crocheting, where you follow a specific pattern and at the end you're done. No rewrite. No change this or tweak that. In fact, you can't just pull a stitch out of an afghan and make it work. Trust me, I've tried. :) Yes, I've made some mistakes along the way and have had to stop to pull out stitches to fix it. And then moved on.

With books, that is harder to do. And it's not always wise to edit as you go. So much beauty comes from letting the story unfold and discovering some things you might not have otherwise. It's fantastic. But it can also be kind of messy when you're done and have to work even harder to make it look pretty.

So currently, I find myself editing the first book of a series I've been working on. It's tough. It's loooooong. It needs large sections cut out to help with the flow.

It is not an afghan.

BUT, I'm tackling the process of editing it in the same way I finished my daughter's afghan in a month. The finished afghan was almost queen size by the time I was done. I didn't plan it that way. Just got kind of carried away. Unlike my book though, the size totally worked. My daughter loved it.  The needs to be smaller.

I finished the afghan in a month because I worked on it in little chunks. Ten rows while the son was at Karate. *Hi, Son...yarn over, pull through, pull through again.* I worked on it while "listening" to a movie with the family.

Essentially, I worked on it in small pieces.

You know the old adage, how do you eat an Elephant?  The answer is: one bite at a time.  And as such, I will finish this edit. One. Chapter. At. A. Time.  It's a looooong and tedious process, but eventually, like the afghan, I will be finished and I'll look at my pretty book and go, "Huh, yeah, that was worth it."

To motivate myself and thank all my friends, I've involved the fans of my Facebook page in my endeavor.  For every chapter I edit I've been picking a winner from the list and sending them a crocheted bookmark, made by yours truly.  Because sometimes it's nice to have a little support. If you want to get in on the fun, by all means. Come join in! Here!

Meanwhile, I'll pick one lucky winner from the commenters here and send you a bookmark. Just to say thanks for dropping by and making it to the end of this post.  :)  And don't forget to include your email so I can contact you! Thanks for visiting!!!!

So how do you edit?  Do you edit as you go, or after a finished draft? How long does it take you on average?


  1. I agree with crochet, you just have to keep working on it and magically, your project is finished! I have been reading instead of watching TV lately so my crochet basket has been sorely neglected. Maybe in a few months. Good luck with your book. I remember editing short stories and it was so frustrating because I would sometimes edit the joy right out of it until it was stilted and proper - I had to watch myself!
    Those bookmarks are adorable! - lostinsidethecovers at gmail dot com :) - just in case

  2. I tend to edit as I go, but it does mean I spend a LOOOONG time drafting. But at least it's not quite as rough when I'm done :)

  3. Good luck with those edits! They can definitely be tricky, but so worth it when you story shines.

  4. My current WiP is taking a long time to edit because I'm vacillating over some big questions (e.g., should I re-write it in third person, or stick with first?). My general process though is to edit in stages. The first is the big one, where plot lines get added, dropped, revised, things rearranged, voice polished, etc. The second is to check for typos, consistency, grammar. Then I might read through to make sure I'm okay with other people seeing it. Then it goes to beta readers...

    All the best with your edits, Karen!

  5. This is great advice. I'm working on editing right now and feeling a little overwhelmed by it, the small chunks is definitely the way to go. Great post for C!

  6. Good luck. Editing isn't easy, but it is extremely necessary!

  7. Keep on trucking...your book will thank you. Me, I struggle in that I edit as I go. I just can't turn the function off. At least not easily.

    Best of luck, and happy A to Z!

  8. I flash through an rough draft which has been outlined. Then I re-edit...again and again...yep, it's a whale...a narwhale of an experience.

  9. I'm a new follower from the A to Z Challenge. Nice to meet you!

    I believe you should bang out that first draft as fast as possible and not worry about perfect words, sentences, or scenes as you go - - because they might get cut in the end. I revise and edit after the first draft is finished. The first revision takes me FOREVER. The fine tune polishing is my favorite part.

  10. Hi Karen,

    I had no idea you could type 120 words a minute. I'm doing the A to Z challenge, too. Stop by if you have the time. and maybe leave a comment on my short, little, silly posts.

    I can't write my first draft too fast. I self-edit as I go along, and then edit again, and again.

  11. Ahh, good luck with the editing! I am sloshing through the same process right now. It's fun and enlightening, but long and sometimes very, very hard. Good editing to you!

  12. I edit after each draft, it takes


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