Editing | Writing
It’s like running 27 mental marathons back to back. At the start you can’t see an end to it all. It moves slow and consumes a lot of your free time. And you never seem to see progress. It’s just a never ending journey of black and white on a paper road to nowhere.
I hate it, but it’s gotta be done, right?
As a writer it’s just part of the process. Like drinking scotch when you’re stuck in a K-hole of dysphoria. You write from the hip, or seat, or pants, or however you fucking write your novels. You write but never really pay much attention to the material because you’re fingers are typing as fast as they can in a futile attempt to keep up with your whisky addled mind, and later, once your fingers stop smoking you sit back and read it, then you find out just how fucking bad it is.
This is usually where the process of procrastination starts. You’ve realise just how bad you are at this writing thing, you’re terrible, you’re writing is pointless and you contribute nothing to literature. You wasted 6 months of your life and energy on this pointless piece of shit when you could have been out there getting laid, or something!
WHAT THE FUCK!!!
——————————2 weeks later——————————
You sit back, open up the file on your computer, you forgot what this was, it’s an odd name for a file ‘Big Smoking Bag Of Dicks‘, but hey, you start reading it. Then you remember what this was and you think, “fuck it, I can’t read this“. While you’re reading it, you start to change things, maybe I can make it better. You see now, with a fresh mind what you wanted this book to be about. How you wanted the reader to feel, you start changing things, you start editing the piece of shit into woven gold.
Okay maybe not woven gold, I mean if you could do that you wouldn’t be a starving artist trying to make their mark on this shit heap called Earth. You’d be weaving gold on YouTube and making a killing.
You see editing is a most important part of writing. Take this post. Right now it’s Sunday, 19:28, and between now and Wednesday when this’ll be posted, I’ll edit it a few times. Maybe it’s shit, maybe it’s the most brilliant blog post you’ve ever read, however unlikely that is. The point is, It needs to be edited.
[Edit: You guys should have seen the utter shit this blog was before I edited it.]
No one who takes blogging seriously writes a post without editing it before posting. I mean that would be stupid, right?
So we edit. Then we read it, then we edit it again, and again, and again until we hit that dead line and have no choice but to post and hope for the best. Editing is your friend, embrace it. It’s rare that when you type out a blog or a novel that you impart yourself into the piece right off the bat. A first “draft” will usually be basic in tone and voice. Like if Siri were to write a book. Or better yet, find a book online, high-light a section and get Siri to read it aloud, it looses all meaning when that monotonous bitch reads it. Editing allows you to find your voice and insert it into your work.
Outside of writing blog posts, you might be writing a novel, in which case when you’re done editing it, send it to someone who edits shit like yours professionally. Yes, actually pay someone else to edit you work. I mean, it’s their job to make you look as good as can be.
No they can’t help you “Actually” look good, unless you’re born with top grade DNA and a style all your own, you’re pretty much shark bait in a onesie.
Editors don’t exist to fuck you over, they exist to help you produce the best work you can. So suck up that pride and let a professional edit your work because they’ll do a far better job than you ever could.
Tuesday, 25th July.
I finished the preliminary edit of my novel. This edit is a quick pass over, that allows me to get the story fresh in my mind again and I can do some spelling/grammar edits maybe change a few things. The next edits will be all about;
3. Mood/Emotion of character.
4. Style (Book specific)
5. Mood/Emotion of project (reader)
8. Senses (Smell, sound, taste, feel, look).
10. Plots and sub-plots
11. Over all story
13. Is it relevant?
14. Copy Edit.
My first pass only took a week or so, the next will take longer and be more involved. I can, and probably will, write more on each of the editing steps as I go through them.
For now I start editing the characters. I’ll make some notes of each character, how I want to portray each of them, their behaviour, their personality and attitude as the book progresses. I will then read through the book one chapter at a time and make sure each character is consistent. Of course I have to pay particular attention to my main character (Protagonist).
After my first read through and edit I realised that some chapters are pretty good, but others need a lot of work maybe even a re-write or a re-think. Some felt good to read, others felt like I was pulling sand paper out of my arse. I marked them as such so I know where the shit (and a little blood) lies.
Please understand that your first draft is going to be shit. It’s going to be so bad that you’ll want to give up writing and maybe go to law school or something. Just understand a fundamental truth of writing: A first draft will always be shit.
Know it. Accept it. Move on.
Now EDIT THAT MOTHA FUCKA!
Wednesday: 20:29 – 26th July
I wrote this blog post with an app called Werdsmith. I write on an iPad Pro (the big one), and when I edit posts via the WordPress website it fucks around to much and I get frustrated. So I write them in Werdsmith, then copy/paste them here once they are all edited n’ shit. This last paragraph is the final piece and I’m writing it in the WordPress thing… It’s okay though because it’s at the bottom of th page and, well, yeah. We’re all good in the hood. I poured myself a glass of Jura Scotch Whisky and I’m just finalising this post.
Editing, ain’t it cool.