This Whole Editing Thing

            Help! A new writer looking at the daunting task of editing here.  And I’m scurrred. Who wouldn’t be?  You’ve just spent one whole month writing your baby (what you didn’t do Camp Nano or Nano? Oh, ok)…You’ve just spent X number of hours, days, months, and even years knocking out the first draft and now you stare at the sucker.  It was perfect and great and now you are starting to see some of its flaws.  They are glaring and ugly and in need of copious amounts of TLC, but where to start? 

            The first obvious place is any errors you catch as you read along.  Spelling errors, typos, and anything that sticks out and makes it hard to keep reading.  That isn’t too hard.  What next?  Then I moved on to big plot holes or anything that did not seem right or interesting enough.  Check.  That brings me to now.  What now?

            I have never edited anything before–probably because I was avoiding it.  The possibility that I would have to cut out huge chunks scared me.  Add that with “what if it just plain sucks” running through my head, and now I’m just psyching myself out.  When writing has been your dream since you can remember, not succeeding is the worst thought running through the back of your mind.  If I don’t finish this, no one can tear it apart.  If I work on it forever, I will never have to face the truth.

            Sucking it up and moving forward is the bravest, scariest thing you can do.  And I am.  And I’m nervous.  Scared.  Confused. Determined. Unsure.  So many things going through my mind.  Like, when do you let other people read your story?  Do you rewrite/edit the crap out of it before letting other people give feedback (if I’m lucky enough to get people to read it and give feedback)?  Do you give it a couple of run-throughs and then get advice so you can incorporate said advice in when you are making more edits? 

            So many questions that I am bumbling through.  I’ve asked other writers and continue to stalk them on Twitter to see how everyone else does this and I’ve come to this conclusion: EVERYONE DOES IT DIFFERENTLY!  I know, a shocker that there isn’t some universal easy way to do this whole process. I knew that would be the answer, but it is nice to see other methods that I did not consider before.  I wondered how people got their beta readers and critique partners so I asked.  Many had found their besties from writing contests.  Note to self: check out contests.  One gave a website for finding them: Note to self, stalk that site. 

            Little by little, I have gleaned information and tucked it into my little mental folder of how to move on.  I’ve read a few books on editing, but I want some manual that instructs you step-by-step on how to go through your pretty first draft and hack it to shreds. I want the best possible story I can have, but how do you know what that is?  I am learning that doing is the only way I will ever know and get over my fears.  Wish me luck as I jump back into the story and hopefully come out the other side with an even better one!

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Run, I’m BLOGGING!

            That’s right folks, you might want to run.  Firstly, because I’ve never blogged before (not consistently, at least) so this will most definitely be a work-in-progress as I try to find my voice.  Second, I tend to filter after already saying/writing things that really should have been filtered!  I will most likely edit.  I think.  But in case things slide through, don’t say you weren’t warned.

            I have put off blogging for a very long time.  My first attempts were horrid.  I’m sure most first-time bloggers feel the same.  We’re all excited to blog.  Ready to get our voices out there, but we have no real topic to blog about.  My first two tries had maybe 2-3 posts and then nadda.  I gave up.  Without any real direction to head in, that leaves you bored of your own blog.  I also forgot what name I had given my blog.  Yep, it was that important and great that I forgot my own blog.  I think it was best this way.  Fearing finding it someday, I try to block out the memories.

            My hope here is to write some random thoughts (because I’m told I’m funniest when I’m random) and my thoughts on writing because I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing (what can be funnier than watching other people stumble along?).

            Hmm, now that you know why I’m here, maybe I should give you a little about me.  My name is Trisha, but I’ve been called Red since I was little, something about this mop of curly red hair I suppose.  Being a redhead is a source of pride for me and I like to make sure everyone knows that I am, in fact, a natural, certifiable redhead.  Yes, I am certifiable.  I think it is a requirement to work retail as long as I have.  And being a writer tends to lend itself better to crazy people.  It was either be crazy or drink way too much.  I chose the former.

            I have only recently ditched the “aspiring” before my writer title.  I put in the time, I deserve the title!  I have mostly written screenplays and only recently delved into the novel side of things.  My hope is to have this recent WIP all shiny and pretty by Spring.  Am I crazy? I think not knowing that it might be crazy makes it better for me.  I can’t psyche myself out as much.  We shall see since I’ll write about it here!  Sit back, relax, and shake your head freely as I fumble along in my happy little bubble.