The First Edit

Excuse my long absence from this Blog I started, I gathered followers and made new friends and then disappeared of the side of the page.

My reason is simple, the 1st Edit is not something for the faint of heart.

I was expecting it to be brutal, I was expecting to see my beloved pages marked in red from first word to last. But I  was also actually looking forward to working with a professional to make my story the best it could be.

I knew it would be hard work. 

Why? How did I know and expect these things. Because since I decided to try and get Golden published, I have read every “word of the author” at the back of every book I have ever read, and they all say the same – big thanks to my editor, without whom this book would not have been possible, it’s been a long hard road, it’s been a lot of work, a lot of late nights….
So when I got my ‘first edit’ back I was excited to get right into it!
Oh wow!
Mine looked quite tame. Until I started.  (edited: mine looked quite tame until I started)
The stupidest mistake I had made, I had written numbers as numbers – I had not even noticed I had done that. So I had to go through the whole 72000 words and correct every number mentioned anywhere. It is surprising how many number you use without realizing it. Took a day.
Next: overuse of ‘that’ . Humph I though, but that can’t be, that I use that to much? 962 x that in 72000 words and they need to go!
I am on chapter 11 now, 3 weeks in and its hard going, I can tell you that. I try to manage a chapter a day, but it never works out like that (darn it – that ‘that’ word!). Because for every sentence I need to change, I find another that could be better written. And then, the worst of all – maybe I could ad a bit, develop the story line more, delve more into the characters strengths, maybe change the plot a little?
 So after 3 weeks I have gained 1750 words. If you take into the fact that I also deleted at least 500 ‘that’s’ , I have gained over 2000 words in the first 11 chapters.
 
That is the trouble with edits – they take time, and if you are like me, doing this for fun, beside a busy days work and juggling 3 children and a husband, it takes a lot of patience and support from all of them.
 
And of course, it’s just the first edit, my editor only edited the first paragraph and it resulted in 3 weeks of work. I know the next word she is going to pick up on, because I picked up on it when looking for my ‘that’s’, its ‘seemed’.
I have, over the past weeks spoken to a few authors, published and self published. Several of the self published authors, stated they did not use editors, as they changed the story, manipulated it and took it away from the authors.And at first I saw their points and started to agree with them, but the further I advanced in my edit, the more I changed my mind quickly.
I don’t think so, they do no such thing. They are there to improve it only. To make sure it has a good flow and correct all the terrible grammar we let sneak in. Depending on where you live, country, region, area, slang creeps into everyday speech and we do not even notice it. Editors correct the grammar, structure it better and their favorite gripe “fractured sentences” get all but eradicated. I have been told, a story needs to flow and be easy to read. If you are like me and have read over your book so many times you feel like you are living it, you read over the mistakes. Like repainting a white wall, after you are halfway through, all you a can see is white, it is difficult to see where you have already painted and where it is duller, dirtier and not as clean.
I would advise to get your work edited, and that says a lot seeing as I have only had my first paragraph done so far…..
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