Stumbling Blocks, Workshops, and a Contest

“Nobody’s perfect, I gotta work it again and again ’til I get it right…”
Nobody’s Perfect sung by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus

Well, Hannah Montana’s right on the money with this one. This song should be the theme for all writers in the editing phase.

I have been an editing machine, lately. That is, until I hit chapter 24, where the draft became muddy. Apparently I was experimenting when I wrote this chapter and the couple after it. The results from the experimentation are faulty at best.

Conclusion: I have to alter a major subplot of…oh, I guess I’d say the last third of the book.

This is a little frustrating. I don’t remember writing chapters clogged with internal dialogue, unnecessary angst, and way too much exposition. I’m cutting pages, chapters even, fighting through to get back to the essentials.

The Workshop

I’m holding an online editing workshop next week to contribute to Lynn Viehl’s Left Behind & Loving It (LB&LI) convention. I’ll tackle a different facet of editing each day:

  1. Monday: Put that shitty first draft away
  2. Tuesday: Be brutally honest
  3. Wednesday: Show, don’t tell
  4. Thursday: Tell, don’t show
  5. Friday: Focus on those nitty gritty details

There will be links to worksheets, websites, and books that should help you edit your own work. I’m providing a lot of these links because I know people edit in different ways, and I want to help as many people as possible.

The Contest

At the end of the week, I’ll give a free critique of the first three chapters (or the first 50 pages, whichever is shorter) of one commenter whose name I will pull from a hat. To be eligible…

  1. You must comment during the LB&LI week (July 28 to August 3).
  2. Your comment must be on an LB&LI post, following the theme of the day.
  3. You must comment here on the blog, I can’t see your comment if you’re reading me on LiveJournal, for example.
  4. Your chapters/excerpt must be prose. Double-spaced, twelve pt font, Times New Roman or something similar.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 5. I read all genres, so don’t worry if you’re interested but don’t write historical fiction or romance. I’ll try to be as fair and as honest as possible to help you. Whether you accept my suggestions or not is your prerogative, of course.

I’ll provide my comments using the Microsoft Word comment feature. If you don’t have a Windows machine, or if you don’t have Microsoft Word, we can work something out.

2 thoughts on “Stumbling Blocks, Workshops, and a Contest

  1. This sounds awesome!
    Good for you for doing the workshop… I wanted to, but with my real job this past week, I had no time to prepare…

    And what is it about editing the middle of books that’s so tough? I’m stuck around chapter 16…


  2. Thanks! I’m beyond nervous. I’ve never done anything like this before and I want to do a good job. And help a lot of people, of course!

    Editing the middle of the book is the hardest part because all the subplots are in full force, if you ask me. In the beginning, we set up the subplots, and in the end, we wrap them up. But the middle is where all the big decisions and mistakes are made. And it’s hard keeping everything under control!


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