Wednesday 16 October 2013

My First Time with Editing

This one was weird on a lot of counts. (and probably a repeat of shit I’ve already said)

First, they edited about a chapter of my first book, got me to fix up what they found, and then I ended up with a different editor who fix up a few other things but then continued on with the rest of my story.

The first story was around 12k and it wasn’t chaptered out.
If I remember correctly—no, I’ll look it up. This one ended up going through four editing sweeps before it got sent up the line …

(I’m not sure what comes next, I haven’t gotten that far yet—remember four months, and I’m pretty sure, or I’m thinking, I’m probably not going to be published till next year, with Christmas come up and everything, but I’m not sure. I haven’t been told either way. and I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I’m not that worried, that I know it will happen and no matter what I say it’s not going to happen any quicker, just piss off Jay.
Or if I’m too scared to ask, because that will mean it’s real. That it’s moving and I’m going to actually know when I’m published and that it will become more real, something more to worry about.
But really this is for another time)

… The first time that I noticed was track change. I’m not sure if it’s something I’m meant to talk about or not, I’ll guess if I get in trouble well all find out. But track change is confusing, because it’s all there. To me, it took until recently to really understand what I was looking at. It keeps everything, what it’s been changed into, what’s going to change and it’s… confusing.

The second was how much it annoyed me when I saw the comments. My defensiveness, from my school days, the one that I thought I’d gotten myself over, flared up and bit me in the arse.
I started it out. Spent a few hours getting annoyed. With myself, with the editor, with the fact that I didn’t understand what the fuck they weren’t understanding about the words I’d written.

You see, with me, because I come from a different country we had a fun little time with what I called things. It’s not big, Australia is much more Americanised then I think I’d like to admit, and because I understood that my audience will be mostly American’s I tried my best to stay true to myself and my country without going to bogan—which is hard when my characters are that.

Anyway, the most confusing on was when we came up to my use of ‘Bikies’ the editor didn’t understand what this meant—I think—and I was looking at it like, ‘what do you mean, it’s a bikie, I’m not actually sure how to make that more obvious’
‘am I meant to say a name, like the Commoncharos (probably spelt wrong), or—okay, so at this present moment, that’s the only one I remember.
It took me a shower, washed dishes, and a few hours of thinking before I realised it wasn’t that bikies was confusing to the editor, it was the fact that as an Aussie we shorten anything we possibly can, and what I needed to do was call them what they actually where Motorcycle Gang.

With a day break between when I started and when I went back, and a talk with my sister, I managed to get over myself.
It wasn’t the fact that I felt these things didn’t need changing, or that they were changing too much. I had the right thoughts inside my head; I knew it would be a better story this way. and if I truly think about it, there wasn’t all that much that was changed.
A few paragraphs that needed to be reworded a little more than what an editor could do because if they tried they’d change the whole tone of my voice.
And I’m told my voice is quite strong. Which is a reason that my mum wouldn’t touch my work she’d want to change it, she’d want to prefect it, and I don’t write like a... I don’t know, but I write like you speak, even when it’s in your head.

Now, that first books editing seem to have the most changed.

At first I thought, the reason that they, changed so much with that first book, and hadn’t with the others, was because I wrote the first one in ’11 and as I wrote the rest I became a better writer.
I believed this for a long time (which is saying, like, maybe 3 months). Which is kinda arrogant of me, I feel.
Yeah, in a way I probably did become a better writer in that time. but not as much as my head was letting me thing I was.

When I got myself a beta, she was telling me about my story. About how she started reading it and she saw the way it was written and how it should actually be. The proper way it was meant to be put. And this was after the editing.
She said that even though she was engrossed in the story she still had parts where she would think “I’d have put it this way? Or that way?”
She said that it wasn’t until halfway through the books that she realised that it was my style of writing that it wasn’t proper but more how they would have said it, thought it—the character that it.
She even went to tell me that when she was done she was tempted to re-read it because the start would be different now that she understood how I was writing it and that it would be better that way.

So word of advice, loss yourself in my books, forget what you know about grammar and sentence structure, ‘cause I don’t know shit about then.

So know, I have two thoughts on why my editing is so simple. That there’s hardly a change in them. and I’m saying this coming off my fourth book editing. When I went through it I found a lot of sentence mistakes that I changed, and they didn’t.
Maybe it was because I just didn’t like who it was originally, and that’s why… I don’t know… shit.

Anyway, 1) there being lazy about it. Like, they don’t like my stories and can’t be bothered with it.
This point is that evil diseased part of my brain. Because why would that matter. They chose to edit my series, so that much mean they saw that they could do it. And that they wanted to, right?
And more so, who would that help?
They do a shit job at editing, and that ends up being the reason people don’t like my stories then its all on them. It’s their fault, which has nothing to do with me.
And more so, well, even though it’s editing, and maybe people forget that there’s a person there, but shouldn’t you feel some pride in what you’re doing, and if not quit, you’re not helping anyone by hating it.

And, the real reason, or the one my brain is actually likening better, so 2) that they are used to my writing style and they understand it. They understand me, and they realise that other will when they get to that book. They realise that they don’t need to change it.
That, and I probably have become a little better and writing a novel, like I said, the first book came out in 11 and I don’t think I finished the second one until mid ‘12.

Anyway, who cares, what you need to know is that I fought with myself and I’ve managed to have a lot more fun with my editing part of my stories.
I know that a lot of people don’t, but these things need to be fixed, for many reason, and who are you to think that they don’t.
I also have the add points for a slightly different culture, and that my country isn’t going to get me all that much money in this books world, mostly because we have a fraction of the amount of people on our country than most of the world, and if I want to get big I need in the USA market, which means you guys need to be able to understand me.

But, still, editing can be frustrating, especially when you look at a line that they have marked as illegible, and you look at it, and understand it completely and you’re not sure what the hell there seeing that you aren’t.
So you have to sit there, in your bubble and wonder what the hell you’re meant to do to make it all make sense when it already does.

Anyway, these two post have been long, and I’m hoping from now on they won’t be, seeing as I think I’m up to where I’m up to, and there isn’t really all that much to say until I get to the next level in my books.

So, till next time…

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