Sunday, August 7, 2011

OMG!-The value of sitting a manuscript down and walking away

How do you feel when you finish a manuscript? Excited? Empty? Relieved? What?

Me? Well, I think I feel a little of all of these, plus some. But, one thing for certain...after I finish a manuscript, I usually ship it off to my critique partners, and rest until I have their critiques.

Then, I sift through crit after crit, use some and throw some away.

At the moment, I'm editing two pieces. One of those pieces is a novella, which I let sit for quite a while.

Wow! I can't believe the things that both my critique partners and I missed.

When I first began to use critique partners, I'd write a few chapters, ship it off to them, get those pages back, review and incorporate their suggestion (well, some of them,) and ship those pages off again. The process, for me, did not work. Unfortunately, this poor ms fell into that pool of mss.

The better process for me is to finish the piece, do a basic round of edits while the characters are still fresh, then send it to my critique partners. Then, when I receive their feedback it's on the whole ms vs. pieces of it. Also, I don't bog them down with numerous re-reads of the same pages, and I get the complete crit I need to make the story better.

Forgetting the character and story, and becoming reacquainted with them has allowed me to find ways to deepen the characters and story.

What is your process for editing?

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