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A land forged from the fires of strife, blood of heroes, and touch of the gods.
Where deeds of great valor, vile evils, and blazing passions intertwine
to shape the course of elven and human history within.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Making it Real

OK, I promised a fellow author I'd write a bit about editing, which I consider the key to a good story.  So here it is, for all to see.
I've known writers who spend more time editing a story than writing it.  I'm one of them.  My typical novel (200,000 words, a nice, thick book to really get into) takes me about 10-12 months to write.  I've spent as much as 2 years, or twice as much time, editing said book, therefore three years put into a single novel.  Now there are authors out there on the bookshelves of every bookstore in the world who spend more time writing and editing than I do, which is why most authors have a 3-4 year gap between books.  I've written three books in less than five years, and spent as much time editing; in fact, I'm still in the process of editing the third book and should complete it by March.
So why is editing so important?  Truth be told, writing the story is really the easiest part; its having the guts and the discipline to trim it down, connect all the dots, tie up the loose ends, and polish it to a glow that is the real work.  A lot of writers can write the story; not everyone can finish it and make it a true tale.
I'm working on the fourth pass through my book for editing. This time through I'll edit a chapter, then make the changes in the electronic manuscript, to break up the monotony a bit. I just finished the third pass, front to back, and it would be tough to do that twice in a row.  I edit during the writing phase, so by the time I have the manuscript finished I'm actually at the second draft point.  Then I'll go through it at least twice more and apply a final polish, which is what I'm doing now.
That's the basics.  Next blog I'll tell you some of the specifics on how I edit and why.  And some horror stories about finding those dreaded continuity errors that every author deals with.

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