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LOL!Editing

December 9, 2007

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Heh. So yesterday I was complaining loudly how I didn’t like 90% Proof at all any more, now that it had been edited to within an inch of its life.

So today I decided to read it again, and in one of those strange things that happen to stories, overnight it’s become quite good again.

This is a good thing. But mystifying. How can it be that a story you thought was rubbish one day, the next day you really enjoy? On any particular day, how can you tell whether your judgment is accurate or not?

Still, I am reassured that I didn’t send Freya’s Bower a story I’d be ashamed to be associated with! That means I can concentrate, this coming week, on the final proof read of ‘Captain’s Surrender.’

And speaking of the final proof read…. Publishing appears to be in some respects like the armed services. There’s a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’ involved. I’ve had nothing to do on the book for a couple of months, but now I’ve suddenly got to get the proof reading done by Wednesday. I’m getting used to long periods of (apparent) inactivity interspersed with panic, but it does remind me a bit of Lord John Grey’s Prussian troop movements. Except without the accident prone, unfortunately celibate, homosexual noblemen, of course.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. bittermint permalink
    December 9, 2007 8:12 pm

    >>>How can it be that a story you thought was rubbish one day, the next day you really enjoy?<<<

    I just had this same experience myself, with a story I let languish on my hard drive for over a year because I thought it was unmitigated crap.

    Then I went over and posted it on one of my online writing groups, in the hopes of getting some good critique so that I could whip it into shape — and everybody liked it pretty much as it was! So I took another look at it, fully prepared to cringe, and discovered it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I’d thought.

    I guess Ray Bradbury’s advice that you should put your manuscripts away for awhile before tackling the rewrites is good advice indeed! 😉

  2. December 9, 2007 9:51 pm

    I guess Ray Bradbury’s advice that you should put your manuscripts away for awhile before tackling the rewrites is good advice indeed! 😉

    Yes, I’m sure that’s right. I know from my own process that just before I finish something I’m always convinced that it’s absolutely dreadful. Then normally – if it’s fanfiction – I’ll post it and get nice reviews, which will make me go back and look at it in a more kindly light. With original fic, you don’t really have the same filter of having other people look at it.

    I have tried the tactic of putting things away and then coming back to them fresh a couple of weeks later, and it does normally work to make me more able to see the story as if it wasn’t my own. This is just the first time it’s happened in between one day and the next!

    It’s nice when it happens! But sometimes I wonder which version I should believe in. Is it OK, and I was just too close and too tired of it to see that? Or am I now looking at it through rose tinted glasses and really it actually *was* rubbish?

    I think you’re wise to see what other people had to say! It’s really hard to tell when it’s just you.

  3. annielatimer permalink
    December 10, 2007 2:38 am

    I feel the exact same way. I waffle from loving Love Once Lost to wanting to take back the fact I ever hit submit.

    I just think that it’s a writer’s habit to doubt themselves. I’ve still to edit my nano novel from a year ago because I’m stuck on the feeling that it should never see the light of day again. I know I’ll eventually get back to liking it again and even dusting it off for submission, but it will be awhile.

  4. wulfila permalink
    December 10, 2007 8:39 am

    It’s nice when it happens! But sometimes I wonder which version I should believe in. Is it OK, and I was just too close and too tired of it to see that?

    I believe you can trust the version you see with some more distance and time between the creating and the judging. When you work on something, you are usually too immersed in it to see it clearly. At least, that is how it is for me – I must look at stories again after some days or even weeks to know how they are (and to spot things that have to be changed). So I believe you can trust yourself and like the story.

  5. HMS dauntless permalink
    December 10, 2007 11:55 am

    I did not know the advice came from Ray Bradbury, but I’ve been strictly following it for the revised version of all my rejected papers. 😉

    And yes, publishing is very much a Naval experience seen from Dr Maturin’s perspective ! 😀 Scientific journals send you proofs to be checked withing 24 or 48 hours, and they usually do it on Friday late afternoon. So, they’re sure no one will see the mail until Monday morning *G*

  6. December 10, 2007 8:57 pm

    I feel the exact same way. I waffle from loving Love Once Lost to wanting to take back the fact I ever hit submit.

    I just think that it’s a writer’s habit to doubt themselves. I’ve still to edit my nano novel from a year ago because I’m stuck on the feeling that it should never see the light of day again. I know I’ll eventually get back to liking it again and even dusting it off for submission, but it will be awhile.

    Oh, I’m glad it’s not just me 🙂 Sometimes my waffling self-confidence is a real nuisance, and it can be reassuring to know you’re not the only one.

    I know what you mean about nano, too! ‘Angelic Conversations’ from last year is something I keep meaning to go back to. Then I remember how rough it is and how much work it’ll need, and I do something else instead!

  7. December 10, 2007 9:10 pm

    I believe you can trust the version you see with some more distance and time between the creating and the judging. When you work on something, you are usually too immersed in it to see it clearly. At least, that is how it is for me – I must look at stories again after some days or even weeks to know how they are (and to spot things that have to be changed). So I believe you can trust yourself and like the story.

    Normally I would be the first to agree with you 🙂 The funny thing with this story is, though, that I had remembered it as being quite good – after I finished it in its first incarnation. Then I took some space from it, and when I looked at it again, I thought it was rubbish. Only after that did I swing back to thinking it was OK. So there’s an extra layer of self-deception in there that I’m not used to!

    Perhaps it’s just down to the process of converting it to original fic – to a certain extent you go back through the stages of writing it again in order to make it new.

  8. December 10, 2007 9:15 pm

    I did not know the advice came from Ray Bradbury, but I’ve been strictly following it for the revised version of all my rejected papers. 😉

    And yes, publishing is very much a Naval experience seen from Dr Maturin’s perspective ! 😀 Scientific journals send you proofs to be checked withing 24 or 48 hours, and they usually do it on Friday late afternoon. So, they’re sure no one will see the mail until Monday morning *G*

    LOL! Yes, I’ve realized that the concept of weekends and holidays does not apply to me 🙂 But you’d think that scientific journals, accustomed to getting submissions from people who are doing full time work as well as writing, would be a little more understanding! Your workload continues to boggle my mind a bit 🙂

  9. wulfila permalink
    December 11, 2007 7:30 am

    But you’d think that scientific journals, accustomed to getting submissions from people who are doing full time work as well as writing, would be a little more understanding!

    Definitely not! *commiserates with Dauntless* I am very glad that I am moving farther and farther away from scientific journals right now. They are among the reasons I am glad that academia is over for me now. 😉

  10. December 11, 2007 10:40 am

    I’m glad that you’re glad 🙂 It’s good to think that you too are doing something you enjoy for a living. I wish you lots of interesting work, but not too much!

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