This Business of Writing

A New Way to Edit?

In Editing Your Manuscript on October 5, 2009 at 8:13 am

Good day, Writers,

As many of you know, I’m in the process of sending my manuscript Born to be Brothers to agents for representation. What this means is there have been three people editing this thing a total of ten times from first word to last – my agent twice, my wife twice and me six times. Further, six others did a beta review! (Whew…) That’s sixteen edits!

My wife Kate has supported my writing without hesitation from the first minute and is by far my best cheerleader. (I’ve ordered pom-poms but they’ve yet to arrive.). As I began sending “Born to be Brothers” to agents for representation, Kate made a suggestion. She asked if she shouldn’t read it aloud to me to see if that might improve it even more. After so much editing, even reading it aloud to myself three times, (complete with character accents), I assumed her idea would be of little value. Still, it might be interesting to hear it, after reading it so many times. But edit it again? Nah… It’s been edited to death! Right?

Wrong!

Well, we’re at page forty-two, of four hundred plus, and I’ve already altered the ms thirty seven times! Some alterations were simple synonym insertions while with others entire paragraphs were rewritten.

My point, of course, is Kate enlightened me to an entirely new methodology of editing which is proving invaluable. The upshot in my case was to immediately cease sending Born to be Brothers for agenting. You can bet I’ll be working on it another week or two before I start that oppressive undertaking again.

I do, have a question, though. How among of you knew this and why didn’t anyone tell me?

I do hope my experience has given you yet another tool to improve your writing.

Until my next posting, good writing.

Patrick

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