I finished chapter 37 last week as well as chapters 38 & 39. For me, it wasn’t a productive week! I didn’t even get much reading done and I feel a writer must read. Three to five chapters a week, five-thousand words a week, would be good and that’s what I used to be able to write before all the drama came about in Washington. I have cut back in my watching of cable news. Somewhat.
Re-reading and a lot of self-editing took place in the afternoons and early evenings last week. It amazes me the small things I miss when I write and often after my first read through. That is the reason I am big on getting my story to as many eyes as possible and to a professional editor. I am sure the punctuation errors in my blogs prove my point.
Once at a newsroom in Key West, when I worked as a journalist, the publisher (son of the paper’s owner) was looking at cost cutting. One of his suggestions was doing way with copy editors! Why couldn’t reporters edit their own work, he asked.
After about fifteen-minutes of comments by editors and reports, he let go of the idea. That there weren’t more laughs when some thought he was kidding, says a lot about the newsroom back then.
I know writers that are the other side of the coin. They would edit, edit, edit till the unicorn returns. I think it has to do with self-doubt and insecurity. Knowing when to stop editing, when to stop asking people to look at your work and not taking everyone’s advice to heart, is also important.
As I’ve said, I have a couple of friends that are mystery readers and let them have a look at my book before I send it to the editor. They have questions and suggestions. I listen to them but make the final decision on what to edit, cut out, rewrite on my own. Not even editors are always right. The writer must decide if his/her work improves from the advice. When it does, work with it. When it doesn’t, put it aside.
Now, back to chapter 40 and the twist I worked in began in chapter 39. I think my characters are having more fun than I am!