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My editing evolution

Hello, CSU! Aren’t you loving this weather? I almost forgot what the sun feels like on bare arms. Come on, Spring, hurry up and get here already.

So, when I’m not outside enjoying the sun, you can usually find me inside working on some creative project. I’m actually working on two right now, though, which is not something I’ve done before. You see, I tend to be the type of person who needs to focus all of my energy into one project. For example, I can only read one book at a time. I’ve got a friend that can read two or three at the same time, but I couldn’t ever imagine doing such a thing. It would seem almost unfair to the characters in those books. It’s like saying, “Hey, you’re not all that interesting, so I’m going to go hang out with these new guys instead. See you around!”  Not cool.

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When it comes to my writing, I have always been the same way. Some authors like to bounce around between projects to keep themselves inspired, but I’ve never been able to do that. Until now.

chapter two
Chapter Two

A few nights ago I sat down at my computer, opened a Word document, and just started to write. I wasn’t sure why I was doing it, because I knew that I really should have been editing my other novel, but I just let myself write. About an hour later, I had written seven pages and finished the first chapter of a new novel.

WHAT?

Yeah. So not only am I working on revision notes for my Nano novel, but I’m also working on a new novel (which has been floating around in my head for months). This feels totally crazy, but I love it. Editing can become tedious, and having to look for all of the flaws in my writing can make me get really down on myself. Sure, it has its pros as well, but it’s not an easy process. I’ve found that working with a new cast of characters on the side is actually keeping me from getting burnt out. (Expect to hear more about these new characters in later posts.)

A peek at Chapter Five
A peek at Chapter Five.  Photo credit Natalie Juteau

I’m trying a new approach to editing this time around. Last year I would read a chapter, make notes, and then edit it before moving onto the next chapter. This worked well, but I still had some issues with changing events/characters and forgetting I had changed them, which meant I had to keep going back and re-editing some sections. So this year, I’m approaching the process a bit differently. Instead of editing chapter by chapter, I’ve decided to read the entire novel, make notes on large changes that need to be made, and then edit it once I’ve put all the pieces together. It’s feeling good at this point, but the task ahead is daunting. There are some major changes that need to be made, and it’s not going to be an easy process. I just keep telling myself to take it a step at a time. Even though I really want this book to be done, I want it to be done right, and that takes time.

After posting this I’ll head off to edit Chapter Nine, and then probably ignore my readings for class and work on my new novel instead. Expect updates on my progress!

Natalie can be reached at blogs@collegian.com and on her twitter page, @n_juteau

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