Friday, 26 November 2010

Editing



Those of you who follow me on more 'immediate' media like Facebook and Twitter are probably aware that I came home from France to find my paper had been accepted for the Oxford conference, but with a much-reduced page count compared to the version I submitted. I've been chopping like a maniac, and I've only just finished... the deadline is imminent but I'd like to sleep on what I've got before I submit it.

Meanwhile, exciting things have been happening in the world of my novel, with great reviews rolling in on Amazon, and Kindle sales picking up even before I've started marketing, which is a really nice surprise.

I've learnt a lot in the process of these two things. You could hardly find two forms more disparate than the novel and the short academic paper, but the lessons are the same, and it's all about the edit.

The first draft is never good enough; the second draft is never as good as you think it is. You won't necessarily end up where you initially thought you would, but that's okay. You have to find people you trust to tell you your faults, and dare to give them a still-not-good-enough draft, and to listen when they tell you where the weak points are. And then find your own way to patch it up, which may involve starting from scratch (again). You know all this before you start, in theory, but you still have to learn how to do it... at least, that's how it's been with me.

If you've been part of the process for either piece of work, then I owe you endless thanks. Thank you. We'll be doing it all again before you know it.

13 comments:

Emma said...

That's amazing! Well done you :-)

Velva said...

Cheers to you Rachel! Congratulation. Your editing lessons learned,sounds like good advice for life too.

Bibliomama said...

Way to go. When I don't like someone it's almost always due to something regarding having no self-critical faculties. The editing thing works on so many levels.

lakeviewer said...

The toughest lesson! Congratulations on your progress, on both counts.

Kazzy said...

Congrats on all fronts~

Dedene said...

Wow, soon we'll be able to say we know a famous writer!
Congratulations!!!!

Jeanne said...

I actually like the editing process. It's easier to cut and paste and tweak and maneuver than to come up with all that stuff in the first place.

Ginny said...

Wow, Rachel, what an honor!! What kind of conference is this at Oxford and when is it? will you be reading the paper there? And what is the paper about? I don't remember reading too much about this on your blog. You must have an extremly brilliant mind!

cornflakegirl74 said...

That's great news, Rachel!!! Good for you :)

I can't imagine how difficult it must be to edit your own novel, or worse yet, to have someone else edit it, but you should feel so proud of all your accomplishments. And that's great news re: Amazon and Kindle. Please direct us to the novel so we can check it out ourselves and say we knew you back when ;) *HUGS*

Rachel said...

Well done. I have to say that each new editing process on each new project is just the same hill to climb as the first. You just get more used to doing it!

Lilian Nattel said...

Congratulations, Rachel!

christine said...

That's my girl:-) xx

Galit Breen said...

BIG congrats to you & i'm so-very-impressed with your mad editing skills- that's a place where i have some ahem- opportunities! so happy to have found you today! :)

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