Sunday, September 6, 2015

My individualistic writing and editing process of terror.


I like learning about the way people uniquely create. Being a human who loves words in basically all formats, I particularly enjoy learning how people experience stories. Being a human who also writes stories, I like learning how other people go through this process. Cait recently shared her editing process and I enjoyed learning about it so much that, hey, I decided to do the same. So. Let's begin.

Step 1.
Writing the novel. It is the most sensible way to begin, for me.


Step 2.
I write my novels by hand, finding that typing out a fresh story gives me mega mind block, so step two is... transcribing. It's helpful as a preliminary, spell-check edit, although I leave it mostly to it's bareness at this stage.

Step 3.
The first edit. I'll print my entire manuscript off and read through it with a journal at my side. The printed edition will gradually get covered in notes, edits and lines to signal cut all the words. In the journal I'll write out ideas, character backgrounds, world info and extra scenes that don't quite fit in the margins of my edit. I'll also crack jokes for my future transcribing self. And doodle immeasurably in the margins.
Then I transcribe these hand edits back onto the computer.


Step 4.
I give it around three months break and come back refreshed to, laughingly, call this the read through, imagining it'll be quicker than the first edit and won't really involve the intensity of editing that round 1 did. I'm always wrong and realise this within three pages. This becomes, then, edit number two and is just as intense, re: cutting, rewriting and devising as the first, although the journal is nowhere to be seen.
More transcribing. I fancify the format of the novel- double spacing, font size, all of it- here. Recently, this stage involved adding explitives into my novel.
It quickly because evident it wasn't even possibly MG anymore.

Step 5.
This is the next read through. It, too, becomes an edit.
More transcribing.
In my most recent edit I went through about five pens in this stage.With my current WIP I'm almost at this stage.

Kasta, I have to say, loves my work. She spends so much time just sleeping at my side, on my lap, with her face on the corner of my manuscript. I even made an #editingwithkasta tag.
Step 6.
I get to the stage, by this point, of being really, really, really ready with the novel. I'm super proud of it, and myself, and I'm glad since it's had a couple hundred hours poured into it by this stage. I get in contact with critique partners and friends and share my story.

Step 7.
Agent searching.

Editing is arguably my favourite part of the writing process. I get frustrated and angry with my novel, sure, but I get to spend a different level and type of time with the characters, and working so endlessly to ensure my manuscript is how I envisioned it in the best possible way. I get a really different feel for the characters, during this one, and they become that bit realer. That bit creepier. Really, here, they become more than characters in my head. They become *sings* friends.

So that's my writing/editing/process of terror. And at this point, I'm off to work on the last point of stage number 5.
Romi.x

18 comments:

  1. Wow, this is quite the system! I'm glad that you know how to best get through your novels—I'm still learning so much of it myself. I hope you get to move to stage 6 very soon.

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    1. Aah, thank you for that, Heather! I really enjoyed writing this up, even if I'm mentally aware of the steps I tend to gravitate towards. It's always a learning process, though, for sure. I imagine I'll have different ways in a year from now.
      I'm about a week away from stage 6! xx

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  2. Ohhhh, I like your system! :D I DREAM of being able to print my novels out, but, egh, ink is kinda expensive and my books usually are HUGE (before I start editing, and then they're teeny tiny hehe) and I've suffered through not-printing for so long I probably won't start. But yes. #dreams. And it's so awesome you actually enjoy this process! I mostly cry. I'm up to doing a read-through before I send it off to my agent AND THEN I GET TO FREAK OUT FOR WEEKS WONDERING IF SHE LIKES IT OR NOT, ERMAGERD. *hyperventilates* Why did I pick this career. XD (Just kidding, I totally love it.)

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    1. Ink is so expensive, but I'm a skimp and don't pay for it at the moment (and I try to use post-consumer paper, although this last one didn't, I don't think), so maybe my print style will change when I'm paying for the ink myself!
      Yes! When I read your post I felt sad that you so severely don't enjoy it, because it's such fun for me! AAH! But so exciting! I've seen more than one blogger raving about your WIP, Cait, and us bloggers have it right. I'm sure she'll love it! xx

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  3. Okay "fancify" has got to be my new favorite word. I will totally nick it in the future. I HATE editing with a passion. I just want everything to be PERFECT from the start. I can't write in shorthand - I mean I could obviously, but I need to be able to delete things and put them somewhere else without having to cross out ten thousand things. The only time I write shorthand is when I'm bored at some university class or another and it's usually like half a page of fanfic that I never complete. :D I've never printed anything out to correct it because it just seems like I'd waster SO MUCH paper (plus spend too much money), but I see how it could be helpful. I think if I ever manage to actually finish a book, I might give it a try. xD

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    1. Fancify, the word to rule all words.

      Oh no! Another hater of the edit! My passion for it runs deep- although I think I disliked it when I first started editing my work- so it pains me to hear how much others detest it, but oh well. We all enjoy different aspects of it most! Editing... might be my kinda favourite part? I LOVES ITS.
      Hahah! One time I had written AOTOLPL in the margins and got to that stage, when I was transcribing my edits, and was like what. even. A couple months (years) later I realised it was a note to self to add something onto my book's playlist! WOO! I remember my shorthand. *nods* All the time.
      I know! I feel a little bit guilty, because it does waste resources, but it also works for me. I should invest in only using post-consumer paper and recyclable inks. xx

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  4. I'm usually more inspired to write at work - during office hours, no less - than I do writing at home. It sucks. In any case, I'm too afraid to actually write something other than poetry and book reviews. But when I finally grow a pair, I'll come back to this post (and to you) for nuggets of wisdom. You're cool. <3

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    1. Really? I'm very much someone who can't write with others even in the same room (goodbye, cafe writing sessions), so that's like something from a horror story for me, but we all have our ways! Hey! You totally don't need to grow a pair- genitals are totally not a level for sucess. You're already awesome.xx

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  5. It was fascinating to read about your process! And it makes me stressed cause all that re-reading and changing makes me nervous. haha. You're very organized though, and I'm amazed that books can change so much from the first edit. So many notes on your page! ;)

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    1. AAW. Thank you, Charlene! That makes me inwardly trill! I'm glad you enjoyed this, but it made you stressed! Oh no! The rereading and changing aspect, before I start, can be so daunting, and in the first pages it's like "This will take FOREVER!" but then I get so into it and it's amazing.

      My pages are covered in notes. The pages that have maybe just under or just over 10 notes are glorious, I get through their transcriptions in, like, two minutes. Some pages are covered, though! Those ones are slightly terrifying to behold. Which is generally when I just art. Everywhere.
      xx

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  6. I loved reading about your editing process. It scares me to death but it has to be done. Great post!!

    -Jordan

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    1. AAW! Thank you, lovely! Really? I really, really love it, editing my own work and connecting more deeply with the characters, editing others. It's all super enjoyable to me. xx

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  7. Wow, I'm so impressed that you write your entire first draft by hand. I can barely finish a first draft of a novel, let alone write one by hand. SO DARN IMPRESSED ROMI!!

    Thanks for sharing your writing process. I don't write anymore these days, but I really enjoy reading about how other writers go about with it. :D

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    1. OH JOY! You make me blush! Thank you! It's so fun to write early in the morning and get up to breakfast and have been wide awake for an hour or two, have ink on my fingers. I love that. It does make for cramps, when I'm starting a new novel, but I get through them. I must have an IRON GRIP by now, surely!

      Aw, well I'm sorry to hear that, Joy. But I am glad you still enjoyed this! xx

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  8. Such a long process! Back when I was writing (the story I never ended up finishing...) I was writing the first draft by hand and occassionally typing it up as I went. Never got to the editing stage but I imagine it would have gone just like yours. You dedicate so much time to your manuscript and making it as good as it can be!

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    1. It really is. When I was considering how many hours I'd spent on this WIP and the one I'm giving a break, it's incredible. But it makes me so happy, too, thinking of it and doing it. I'm really, really passionate about writing. That makes me incredibly happy. It's definitely a dedication of time and effort and passion, for me.

      Hey, maybe one day you'll go back and edit and relive your novel! xx

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  9. Wow you wrote everything by hand! That is a lot of writing. I feel like now I can only type on my laptop, because if I write too much my hand starts hurting, and then I also get discouraged by the unorganized layout, compared to a Word Document.

    Good luck on #5! Hopefully it all works out :)

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    1. I write basically everything by hand! All my study, my reviews, all of my writing. I just stall up when I'm typing on the computer and this one time I couldn't think of a thing to write- it's like working on a computer gives me writers block. So I only write by hand and then transcribe, and that works for me so well. And I get inky fingers as an added plus, which I adore. It does make my hands hurt quite a bit, in the first few days of starting a new novel or working on something for extended periods of time.

      Thank you, lovely. xx

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Please note, however, that nothing hurtful will be tolerated.

Have a beautiful day.x