Monday, March 21, 2011

Editing Takes Time

That's probably a great big "duh, Dot!". Of course editing takes time.

But this short trip to the coast has proven my whining - er, I mean, theory - that I need blocks of time for editing. Not for the shorter pieces: short stories, flash fiction, poetry - those I can usually do fine with sessions.

But with the longer memoir/creative nonfiction submission I just completed, I needed a longer, focused, continuous block of time. This piece started out around 8600 words. The word limit for the contest is 7500. And I needed a couple new sections to bring it all together.

With a compressed period of time, it was easier to keep track of the parts. To know where I'd said what when I found something I'd already written in another section where there were conflicts in facts - like saying it was a '66 VW Bug, a '68, a '69. All in one piece of writing. No - pick one and stick with it (I don't remember right now which it actually was; it wasn't my car).

I was able to get in the flow of the piece and move, remove, add, and alter the story to make it work. I've done probably five major edits since Thursday. And it feels done.

When I get home I will pay the fee and submit the story. After my partner gives it another read. She's only read the copy I left her Thursday night. There've been many changes since then. But our conversation on the phone tonight helped; we talked about her feedback for the last known edit she read.

I believe it's ready; and another set of eyes is the final step in what I hope will confirm it's done-ness.