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Responses

  1. Dary (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I would consider deleting something and rewriting it as editing. Writing is raw. It's when the words are guiding you, rather than you guiding the words. That's why it's important to separate the two, and never edit what you're writing as you write it.

    Another tip for editing, both for spotting errors and helping to distance yourself from the work, so you can look at it as a reader might, is to read it in a different medium than you wrote it in. Even better if you change the font. I write in Scrivener, so I read back using print outs, e-books and Word. It also helps to take a break between drafts, if you can afford it - easier when you're writing novels and can focus on something else for six months, but it's possible to schedule serial writing if you plan ahead.

  2. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Erm, not editing while you write can waste huge amounts of time. If you go off on the wrong path somewhere, the entire trajectory of your story gets thrown off. No matter when, you'll eventually have to go back and rewrite everything that comes after that wrong fork in the road.

    Editing and proofreading are not the same thing.

  3. Dary (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Writing and editing require very different mindsets. If you're constantly swapping between them, you're not using either to its full potential. And you'll waste more time if you edit a scene as you're writing it, and then end up cutting that scene, than if you write everything first, then start editing.

  4. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Unless you write your entire serial before you post your first chapter, you have no choice but to edit as you go. Story editing isn't just "does this piece I just wrote work with itself?" it's also "does this piece I just wrote work with the chapter in front of it, and with the five chapters that follow, and does the action in Chapter three set up the reveal in Chapter 28 the way I want?" Writing a serial is different from writing a book (unless you write it as a book first).

    That said, not everyone edits a story the same way, and trying to get a writer to do it your way by waving it around as the One True Method is a surefire way to screw up someone who hasn't figured this out yet. There are tricks you can try to improve the mechanics of editing -- proofing -- but even they don't work as well for everyone.

    It's just as true as it is on the writing side: I frequently hear about writers describing a situation where the "characters tell them what they're going to do next." That has NEVER happened to me. I have never felt like I was in the position where I was simply channeling my characters, and I don't understand what I'd have to do in order to get into that state -- and while I understand there are writers who find that mindset helpful, it wouldn't do anything for me because I already know what they're going to do, I just need to craft it so it works.

    (I call this "Literary Calvinism.")

    A writer who spent an hour telling me the tricks of how to let a character speak to me in order to improve my writing just wasted an hour of our time.

    It may be that the difference is not as pronounced on the editing side of things, but it's still there. I certainly don't view the editing process as entirely separate from writing when it comes to webfiction -- not when it's so very easy to write yourself into a corner in front of a live audience -- and I have always treated the editing and writing process as not exactly a single thing, but as so closely related that I'm constantly flipping back and forth between them. And I'm pretty sure I always will.

    Now I should at this point note that it's entirely possible that you've read my writing and your response is "yes, well, you're sort of proving my point ubersoft" and that's fair enough, I guess, except that my ego is far too massive to be more than superficially bothered by it. ;-)

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  5. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I don't see how you would waste more time editing a scene halfway through a book rather than finishing the book and then having to rewrite the entire back half, but I'm sure everyone has different processes. For me, it doesn't take different mindsets at all.

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