Today I would like to talk about editing. I finished the first draft of Sweet Rewards and now beginning the editing process. I presented my first chapter at The Central Phoenix Writers’ Workshop, my critique group, on Wednesday. I had an all male group and generally find men very critical of all my details regarding fashion and furnishings I use to set my time periods and characters. I was somewhat surprised that they actually asked for more. Why didn’t you give us more details about your setting? It is good how you use the style of dress to set your period. I don’t generally hear that. I had a few grammar errors, but most of my comments were about giving the reader more details to set the scene. Wow! From men? Later another writer told me not to worry because he knew from my former work that I would be giving them all those details in chapters to come and not to dump too much on the reader at one time.
I went home, as I usually do and read all their comments and did a rewrite of the chapter. I changed and added some details. Having sent the manuscript to my youngest sister, who is an avid Romance reader, and been told not to edit the content because it was great as is,I was loathe to change very much. A writer’s work, lovingly crafted, is thought perfect by the writer. This is my baby! Why would I want to change it? Would I send my daughter to a plastic surgeon because someone said they didn’t think her nose was just right? No!
Unfortunately, editing is a part of the writing process that must happen. As an Independent Author, I am not chained to a contract that demands I make changes to my content before publication. I can listen to the comments of my critique partners and take their advise or leave it. I have learned to pay attention to these writers and seriously take their comments into consideration. I am now going through chapter 13 and mainly looking for grammar and logic errors. I have found several. You always do. Spellcheck does not spot wrong words as long as they are spelled correctly. night/knight It also does not catch missing letters as long as it is a word. to/top There are some things you just have to find for yourself in the line edits and proofread. Grammar check will catch fragmented sentences, though it is irritating to keep hitting ignore because it is a piece of dialogue. People speak in fragments!
Well, time to get back to my editing. Until tomorrow, Write on!