Friday, February 18, 2011

It's much easier to edit someone else's work!

      This week I had something nice happen. I connected with a new writing partner! I'm very excited about it. She is a little farther along in the writer metamorphosis, she has two novels completed already, but has agreed to work with me. We shared some of our chapters and did line edits for each other and it was very eye-opening. I met her over on Natalie Whipple's blog: http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/ 


      She set up a Writing Buddy matching thing, which seems to have really taken off and is no longer on her sight. I feel very fortunate to have wandered over there at the right time. 


     I learned that it is much easier to edit someone else's work than your own. This is likely for at least two reasons I can think of off the top of my head. First, it is material you aren't familiar with. I can tell you my first chapter has been edited so many times I've lost count. I've rearranged it half a dozen times also. I'm intimately familiar with the story, so much so that I have a hard time seeing it clearly now. It really pays to have a fresh set of eyes on it.

      The second reason it a little more esoteric. It's not my story, and I have nothing emotionally invested in it. I haven't spent 3 years toiling over it and stroking it and coaxing it to life. I can see sentences and structure and see things that are slightly confusing because I don't know what the writer had in mind when they created it. As the creator you know the entire story of every character, at least as far as you care to. You know what they are thinking when you're in their head, but the reader only sees the words and sometimes as writers we can get a little lost in there. It helps to have someone able to show us where the dots aren't connecting properly.

      I hope you have a writing buddy, if you don't I am highly encouraging you to get one. We've just started working together and I am already reaping the rewards of that contact.

Good luck in your writing!

Clear Ether!

9 comments:

  1. Hey Todd!
    Natalie's blog is still up (Feb 7), you just have to click for older blogs, that's all. You had me curious, so I had to look.

    I'm excited being your writing buddy, too. It's always good to have another set of eyes go over your work. And I find it's amazing how much you can learn when you critique someone else's writing (you recognize what works and what doesn't). Thanks for contacting me. I look forward to working together!!

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  2. Hi Stacy! I took a cursory look, and I remember her saying something about it going to a new site that someone is working on. I'm glad you found it.

    For anyone else reading this Stacy is my writing partner! I'm excited too, Stacy! I've thought a lot about what you sent me back and am planning some extensive rewrites for those first two chapters.

    I didn't get very many words in this week for some reason, maybe my biorhythms are down or something. Only a little over a thousand words. I'm right in the thick of the climax and its like digging for gold!

    I'm so glad you stopped by, I was going to send you an email just to say hi!

    Todd

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  3. Sure thing. Keep up the great work and the great posts. You've got something great.

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  4. It can be helpful, as long as you try to remain objective and not be too nice because it is your friend's work. Being strict can be painful at times, but it is the only way to really help.
    Author of the poetry book: Poetry: From Hell With Love http://bit.ly/ic2tED
    Blog:http://livingwithpoetry.blogspot.com/

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  5. I agree with you Maria. The entire point of this relationship is to help each other write a better novel. We gave each other a test run, and I know she passed mine with flying colors. I can only assume that she liked what I did since she agreed to become my partner. We also like the idea of having another writer to bounce ideas off of. Thanks so much for stopping by Maria!

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  6. Hi Todd,

    Yup, it's crucial to find the right fit for you as a writer, and it sounds as if you did that. I'd be lost without all the CP and beta reader support I get. :)

    The best of luck!

    M.

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  7. Hi Murphy, I was just reading your blog a little earlier tonight. =)

    Thanks for the good wishes!

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