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Thread: Editing

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca D\'Souza View Post
    At what point do you get someone else to read it? Wait til you have done a fair chunk or chapter by chapter? Oh and just one person? or multiple people??
    It depends on what you want out of the critique. An overall impression? A thorough critique, i.e. sentence structure, plot, pacing, character development, etc.? A once-over for typos?

    It also depends on your readers. Personally I don't read anyone's rough draft and I don't expect anyone to bother with one of mine.

    My former crit group used to (and possibly still does) go chapter by chapter. Occasionally one of us would submit a larger chunk, especially if we were getting close to the submission point.
    Last edited by Jena Grace; 05-23-2011 at 08:30 AM. Reason: is there a PREVIEW function I haven't yet noticed?



  2. #12
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    Wink

    I agree with Jena. I also think it's important to consider where you are in the writing process. If you are really new to writing, you may find inspiration from early or instant feedback on a chapter-by-chapter basis. A lot of writers use their critique groups as a source of motivation. They know a submission is expected, so they dig in and finish a new chapter to submit for feedback.

    However, as you become more experienced, you may find this short-term feedback limited. The problem with a chapter-by-chapter approach is that the readers don't see the big picture. All they can tell you is what works or doesn't work in that particular chapter. If you're lucky and have the same readers each time, they may remember earlier chapters and relate the current submission back to previous material. But that doesn't always happen in a critique group. There are absences, changes in membership, etc. I've also heard people complain that they find the slower feedback of chapter reviews frustrating. This is especially true if you write fast. I know one writer who was nearly always a book ahead of what we were reading and critiquing. However, he rarely revised anything, so...Let's just say I no longer bother to critique his work.

    And, as Jena stated, you will benefit little by submitting unpolished work. If your submission is filled with typos, misspellings, grammar errors, etc., your critiquers will focus on the obvious and ignore elements of craft--such as pacing, character motivation, or plot developments.

    I have worked with critique partners both ways--submitting a chapter at a time (always polished first) or exchanging the entire book for review. Since I no longer feel the need for instant feedback, I've found that I prefer the book exchange approach, as I learn more about what is working for the entire story, not just small sections.

    It's really your choice, but you should evaluate how you work most effectively. If you find immediate feedback to be inspiring, then by all means, look for a chapter-by-chapter reader. If you prefer to hammer out a big chunk of the book before anyone reads it, then I would wait until I had a solid, polished first draft before I sent it off to readers for feedback.

    Just my thoughts...

    Jeanne

  3. #13
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    I would echo something that has been said before in this thread: although you should edit at whatever pace feels right to you, I'd strongly recommend doing at least one strong edit of any material before you put it out there for comment by others. It seems to me the whole purpose of having other people review and critique your writing is to get input on things you wouldn't catch yourself. If you haven't done at least one thorough edit, then your work is presumably going to be full of things you would have picked up, and your reviewers are going to spend some significant portion of the limited time they allot to helping you on correcting those things instead of offering novel insights.

    I'm in a writing group and I find it pretty frustrating when someone drops a draft chapter full of problems that I know they would have caught if they'd reread the damn thing even once. I tend to revert to just spot grammatical editing at that point - why should I put in more effort than they evidently have?

  4. #14
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    What works for me is reviewing the previous day's work and making any edits/corrections that feel right, then going on to that day's work. About once a month I'll do a quick review of the whole thing to date. When the opus is complete, I'll go over it as many times as necessary to tweak until it sings.

    You'll find a pace/program that works for you.

  5. #15
    Aver0n 2o11
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    Normally you have to do more than one edit (which is a pain in the arse). I'm an unpublished writer too so it's not like I know what I'm talking about but with my last (completed) project, it took around three edits of the whole thing just to get it to a stage where I would not be embarrassed to show it to a friend. So probably there's no such thing as an over-edit, I don't think. And it doesn't matter if you chapter it before or after you complete the plot - I do it after because I find that if I stop to edit, I end up never finishing the thing. Just do what works for you.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Baron View Post
    What works for me is reviewing the previous day's work and making any edits/corrections that feel right, then going on to that day's work. About once a month I'll do a quick review of the whole thing to date. When the opus is complete, I'll go over it as many times as necessary to tweak until it sings.
    This is EXACTLY the way I work.
    I feel complimented

  7. #17
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Saadia View Post
    This is EXACTLY the way I work.
    I feel complimented :)
    Great minds.... ;)

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