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How to Tackle the Editing Beast Part 1

aspiring_novelists
photo found here: http://goo.gl/meCuuR

When I saw this picture, I burst out laughing. Yup, the main part of writing is editing. Not nearly as fun as the romantic notion of the caffeine-fit typing attack we’ve all grown up thinking writers experienced. But it’s still my favorite part because I can finally mold something worthwhile 🙂

I’ve been staring at my editing to-do list on this RBRP book for about a month now. Each time I start editing I have to remind myself that when I’m facing a massive project, the most manageable way to tackle the blasted thing is to break it down into manageable chunks.

I half the editing beast by focusing on the big picture stuff first, like character development and building tension, then the small details like sentence structure and word choices. Here’s what I’ve been doing for the big picture edits for the past several weeks:

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How to Create Your Novel’s Logline

I recently read a post by Laura Drake on Writers in the Storm about a hassle-free way to create a logline for your story. (If you’re wondering what in sand buckets a logline is, it’s the short big picture byline used to sum up your work of genius. Think: mini synopsis.)

How_to_create_logline
Original photo found here: http://goo.gl/3X3Qak

I thought hey, my sci-fi novel I’m currently editing is in need of a logline. And I reallllly suck at coming up with one by myself. Let’s figure out how to create one together.

There are formulas to come up with loglines:

 

  • At Filmmaking101 Joe Lam says it must have 5 parts:  Protagonist, genre, inner conflict, outer conflict, and climax.
  • Blake Snyder in his book Save the Cat! says:  It must contain a type of hero, the antagonist, the hero’s primal goal and it must have irony.
  • Some say, all you need is a character with a goal and a conflict.

All those work. They’ll give you a perfectly workable logline. A workmanlike logline.

 

But to me, that’s only a place to start.

 

THEN you need to add what Margie Lawson calls,

 

*Sparkle Factor* 

 

*Rubs hands together* Let’s do this.

I’m looking at Joe Lam’s 5 part list. . . and getting overwhelmed. So I’ll jump to Blake Snyder’s list. Irony? On demand? I have a hard enough time getting the bare bones down, which leaves me with the last of the bullet points: character, goal, conflict. (I’m answering this according to the New Adult sci-fi/fantasy manuscript I’m currently editing.)

Character: 22 year-old Breaker Gershom. (a description of the character is always more useful than the name because you learn more about them). This becomes >> a 22 year-old amputee who built his own prosthetic

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Writing Process Blog Hop

Writing_Process_Blog_Hop
Original photo found here: http://goo.gl/ER1Wgy
Thank you Kate Lansing for inviting me to this Blog Hop! I thought it was such a good idea, giving writers a chance to share their projects and a chance to connect with each other. And you benefit because you learn more about me and how I work around having Chronic Migraine to pursue my dream of writing novels 🙂
1) What are you working on?
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5 Ways Creative Cross-Training Can Improve Your #Writing #WriteTip

watercolor_old_fishermanAthletes train by spending grueling hours preparing for their sports. One way they do this is by cross-training.

We can do the same with writing.

Despite hours languishing in front of the keyboard, intense word sprints, or writing exercises, another way to exercise the writing muscles is to participate in another form of creative activity.

I find painting indispensable for my writing. And writing valuable for painting. They fuel each other.watercolor_Nebula_II

But how can creative cross-training be helpful?

By training your brain to function in ways also applicable to writing:

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