Saturday, January 13, 2007

Editing and Friends

No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published. ~ Russell Lynes

I've spent the past few days working through Judy's novella for her and trying to give good advice. I find myself focusing on those things that are my weakness -- gerunds, passive voice, repeated words -- and have to force myself to look outside that particular box because there are other things to be aware of.

Also, I try to remember that it's not just about criticizing the bad stuff. It's about complimenting the good stuff. For instance, I just read a part that I zipped through and forgot to crit because it was so good and I had to know what was going to happen next. I got to the end of the chapter and realized I hadn't made one note for pages and pages. Oops. That was fun, but let's go back with an editor's eye instead of a reader's.

Truthfully, some days reviewing other folks stuff can be frustrating because I want to write my own. BUT, I find that it helps me as a writer to work through critiques. Plus, I get to read some really great stuff and that's exciting, too, because good reading material is hard to find.

I'm almost done with Judy's -- it was a novella (though, Judy, I'm happy to take a look again once you've finished all the changes). Next, I get to read a book I've waited YEARS to read: Less Than Three. I'm bouncing in my seat and can't wait to crack it open (figuratively, of course, since it'll be on my computer).

What about you? Do you do much reading of other people's work? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you find you learn from it?

Editing aside, I find great value in my writing friends, and can't believe how much I've come to rely on them. You guys are the best!

1 comment:

anno said...

I'm probably in the minority, but I love to review other people's work. I think it helps me understand what I want to do with my own writing -- why do I like this and not that? why does this error bother me, but not that one?

Unfortunately, it does mean that I spend a lot more time thinking about writing than actually doing it.