Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spinning Rides

I have decided that editing is a lot like riding a spinny ride. Not a merry go round that's slow and plays fun music, but one of those rides that spins backwards with loud booming music and a DJ yelling, "Do you want to go faster!"

This is the way it goes (at least it does for me).

You start editing your book. After reading through the first five chapters you notice that you're using too many adverbs, so you start watching for the dreaded "ly" words. By chapter six you realize that you over use the word "around", so you highlight each one and try to find a different word, or take it out all together. When you reach chapter eight, you see that your dialogue tags are not mostly "said". Instead they are "explained, exclaimed, asked, yelled, screamed", so you fix those.

When you get to the end, you still have to go back to the beginning and fix all the adverbs, "arounds" and dialogue tags that you missed, but as you make those corrections you find other mistakes and the process starts all over again.

Finally when you think you have everything perfect you give it to your beta readers and you realize that there is a lot more you have to work on. (Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love beta readers. I'm definitely a better writer because of them.)

That is why I think editing is like a spinny ride and right now I'm almost ready to puke.

25 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

LOL- love the analogy. I try to write without editing and then go back and edit. But every so often I find myself going around and around the dreaded carousel. Great post Patti. all the best with the edits.

Candice said...

And by the end you can't even look at your manuscript without getting dizzy. I totally agree with the analogy here. I'm editing the book I finished two weeks ago for like the fifth time in two weeks. I'm so dizzy that I think I need to step away for a few weeks!

Mim said...

Great analogy! I totally agree with you. That's what is so frustrating about the editing process, but it does make for better books. Good luck!

K. M. Walton said...

The process is definitely beastly. But I feel like I grow as a writer every time I muck around in my manuscripts - it sounds like you feel the same way.

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, puking sounds about right. It never seems to end, does it?

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

HAHA! SO TRUE! I'm editing right now and it's just so much. But I know it will be worth it. Already I see a much stronger story!

Carolyn V. said...

Oh my gosh! I almost burst into tears reading this post. Edits are a pain. I wish you luck. =)

lotusgirl said...

This is so so true. Very apt. The worst part is when you do all that and it is sparkly clean and then realize it just doesn't fit in with what is important to tell in the novel, and it ends up on the cutting room floor.

Jessica said...

Oh girl, me too. I fix one thing and mess up another, so I have to go back and fix that.... grrr...
Hope your ride stops soon. LOL

Patti said...

Tabitha: Thanks for the well wishes. I 'm going to need them.

Candice: Sometimes taking a break makes your stomach rest.

Mim: It's definitely all for the good of the book.

KM: I learn something with each pass through.

Patti said...

Susan: I felt sick to my stomach all last night as I have tried to rewrite two paragraphs of setting all weekend. I'll take the advice from your post today and try again.

Kristen: Isn't there a saying. If it's too easy then you don't appreciate it or something like that.

Lois: That's when you hate cutting, after you've worked so hard on a paragraph.

Jessica: I'm hoping it stops soon, as I'm not good at feeling sick to my stomach.

Jody Hedlund said...

Hang on tight! The ride will eventually end! :)

Dawn Simon said...

Too funny. I believe it will be worth the ride. :)

Tamika: said...

Oh, I hate spinning rides. I do puke!

Kasie West said...

Great analogy. I promise the conductor will eventually stop the ride. But you might be searching for the nearest trash can. :) And that's when you'll need to step away from the ride for a while. It's all making it better. Just keep telling yourself that.

Robyn Campbell said...

GAH! I never knew how much I love the word, WAS! I just never knew! And pukin' my guts out. Uhhuh. Right there with you. :)

Love this post.

Heather Sunseri said...

I want to puke, too!!! Awesome analogy! Great visual, and I can hear the announcer too.

jenniferneri said...

Yes! REady to puke!! How many times I have come to the 'end' only to realize, no, this is not the end!

Dara said...

What a great analogy!

I hate spinny rides too. I avoid most of them at all costs. Unfortunately this is one I'm gonna have to ride...:P

Patti said...

Sounds like everyone better keep a trash can by your computer.

Jessie Oliveros said...

This is a good analogy. I feel like my ride is still on the ground, and is not taking off. And I'm getting a little anxious waiting. Is something broken?

Patti said...

Jessie: Enjoy the calm before the storm. We have that ride at the amusement park near my house and I've never been on it, because just looking it makes me sick.

Cammie said...

Great post, Patti. It's nice to have a humorous image to associate with the madness of self-editing. ;-)

Dara said...

Hey, I just wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Kreative Blog award. It's not anything much, but if anything it may help get you more traffic to your blog :) I have it posted. You just have to link to seven others and let them know. :)

Natalie said...

I feel the same way. Revising never seems to end. But every change makes the manuscript just a little bit better and that feels good. :)