Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Making Haste Slowly

Yesterday was a writing with Gwen day. For those of you new to my blog, my friend Gwen and I get together every Tuesday and write. We don't write together, just in the same room, if you get me. Sometimes we even write in different rooms if one of us is at the point of needing to read their work out loud. We've been doing this for over ten years. Yay!
I was excited to start on the edited manuscript I got back.  I wasn't sure how long the process was going to take me. I got through the first chapter which is six pages. That doesn't seem like much but I think it will pickup once I get the gist of it.
It goes like this - I need to look at the suggested change and decide if I'm going to do it and in some cases - how I'm going to do it. Much of it is easy - I just put in the suggested change and move on. But some of it is a decision of my style and rhythm and that means I need to really look at it. The person that did the editing hasn't edited a literary piece before - she has edited academic work. What that means, I'm discovering, is that some of the things that we accept in the world of literature - that are considered to be poetic devices for instance - are not in the academic world. Some of these I can easily ignore - sentence fragments for instance. Others I need to ponder. It is a very interesting experience. And I have to remind myself that she isn't my teacher or thesis advisor or boss or publisher or agent - she is a woman who is very adept with language with a sensibility that resonates with mine AND I still get to make up my own mind about each and every word.

I have 333 pages to input - at 6 pages a day means about 55 days of work. OK. That's workable. No vacations though! That only gives me five days to get a package ready. EEEK. No, I can take all the time I need. In fact I must.

Just catching you up. I'll try and keep a rather steady (for me) diary on this process and hope you find it helpful.

9 comments:

Richard said...

I'm in the process of trying to write the final draft of a novel, which involves reading each chapter out loud. It's slow going, but it is worth it.

Talli Roland said...

You've been writing 'together' for ten years? Wow! That's fantastic.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

How great to have such a good writing pal of long standing,

Have a lovely day,
Yvonne,

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Best of luck, Jan! No matter the size, each step is one step forward; or at least, that's what I comfort myself with.

Rae said...

It must be nice to have such a close friend...and good luck on your edits! I would fail miserably at writing a novel because I just write like I think- no formal structure or rules! But it feels good! ha

GigglesandGuns said...

Gook luck! I know you'll develop a great rhythm.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Yes, it's tricky. Most times I listen to my first readers (I've just got a couple), but a couple of things I won't agree with (fragments is one.) I'm the queen of fragments! Good luck with the edits, Jan. :)

Jan Morrison said...

Hi All - I did my second chapter...took exactly the time I had available - weird! This is an abnormal week with kids graduating or going back to Berlin and little operations and meetings and ....so anything I get done is a plus.

Arlee Bird said...

What a fun sounding idea to have a writing partner like that. I sure would enjoy that kind of companionship and a sounding board with whom I could exchange ideas and feedback from.


Lee
Tossing It Out