Thursday, June 15, 2006

Editing versus Rewriting

This will be the last little post about editing for a while. Promise.

You see, it's just that Fred left a comment that got me thinking. He said that in both the previous editing posts ( Hack, Slash and Tighten - Taking a Machete to My Writing and How to - Ghostwrite, and More on Editing) we've concentrated on the technical stuff. We didn't look at any plot issues such as "plot holes, consistency and time passage" to name but a few.

Until Fred said that, I didn't realize I was actually dividing my editing into two: rewrites and editing. The rewrites come first usually and that where I (try to) take care of plot issues. Naturally, I also fix technical things as I come across as well. So I have just finished a huge rewrite, where I rewrote the whole beginning due to some... well... plot issues shall we say?

In any event, after the rewrite comes the editing (what I'm doing now), which takes care (supposedly) of the more technical stuff. Of course, it isn't a clear cut and dry division, but that's what tends to happen. Does it make sense? Benjamin says yes and that makes me happy enough. Thank you Fred for such an insight.

An aside: Benjamin reminded me that "the second edition of Tastes of the Darkness is now online at Third Eye Writers! It went on the theme of 'Betrayal'." Alas, I didn't participate this time due to lack of time, but it's fun and recommended for everyone for next time.

Finally (yes finally), Jennifer has a great post about some writing offenses. She includes some great examples. Always something to add to the list of things to watch out for.

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Fred Charles said...

I agree that editing and rewriting are two different things but I tend to do both at once. When I see a problem, I tend to fix it on the spot whether it be a spelling error or a plot hole. My memory is too bad for to put things like that off. I try to keep notes to refer to when checking for consistency.

Thanks for plugging Tastes of the Darkness, btw. I hope that you are participate next time!

Jennifer said...

You know it's interesting I never thought of the two as seperate until this moment (why I don't know) but boy do I split the two!

I think my plot gets hurt if I try to fix it and edit at the same time. I'm one of those who can get caught up in editting.

You know something I've found though, is that the more I write, the less I make some of the 'errors' (for lack of a better word at this moment). It's as if I've learned to not do the 'bad' things. Oh I still do plenty of things wrong that I either ignore when I'm caught up in the writing or just don't catch.

I also do my rewriting when I'm in the middle of the novel. I have no qualms about going back and rewriting the first 3 chapters if I get to chapter 8 and realize I want to change something. Or if I realize things need to be changed. In fact I think I do more rewriting while I'm still in the process of writing the novel than after it's done. I'm not sure that's always a good thing.

Benjamin Solah said...

Melly, I think I'll be doing my novel editing that way -- when I finish one ;)

Thanks for plugging Tastes of the Darkness. I'm in love with this project.

Melly said...

Fred, it makes a lot of sense to me, and I probably do that too to some extent, but there's definitely a time when I think the plot and the novel is firm, and then I edit technical. Like I said, it's not cut and dry.
(I do hope to participate next time. I just started a new gig, so I have less time).

Jennifer, I'm a big supporter of the no-rules school and think that whatever works for you is the rule.
And you know what they say, practice makes better, so it stands to reason we get better with time, don't it? ;)

Benjamin, anything to help :)