Busy Doing Editing

I have come to the conclusion that editing is much harder than the actual writing. I write quite quickly. Editing is a much slower process, especially when it comes to rewriting sentences, or finding alternatives for pet words.

I am also obliged to face up to my own writing quirks and bad habits as I work on this first round of copy edits, as they have all been pointed out by my copy editor. I have already mentioned my overuse of the word “leaned” – which should be “leant” anyway, and all my characters spend far too much time leaning in every chapter. I also overuse the word “stomp”, but I would like to say, in my defence, that my main character is a stroppy teenage girl and it seemed rather appropriate for her to be doing a lot of stomping.

Other things I was completely unaware of are coming up, too. Every time a character appears for the first time in a chapter I seem to describe what they are wearing in minute detail. I have no idea why I do this. I have also been guilty of “head-hopping”.

Now, “head-hopping”, as far as everyone in the T Party is concerned, is a cardinal sin. When you start a chapter in a character viewpoint, you should stick with that viewpoint for the rest of the chapter. We all know this. So I am mortified to discover that my editor has flagged up but not one, but two chapters where I start off with one character viewpoint and shift over to another character’s viewpoint midway through. How could such a blatant error get through all the revision I’ve already done on this manuscript? How can I hold my head up in the writing world again having been guilty of the unpardonable crime of “head-hopping”??

I can cope with taking out all those leans and stomps, descriptions of clothing and unecessary dialogue tags. I just fervently hope, now I’ve addressed those two “head-hopping” chapters that there aren’t any more lurking towards the end of the manuscript.

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3 comments so far

  1. Julia Knight on

    Amazing what a professional pair of unbiased eyes can find when you think you caught it all! *blushes at things her editor caught*

    Console yourself with the thought that, while it was a great story before, by the time you’re done honing it to perfection, it’ll be fabulous.

  2. ralfast on

    Could say the same thing about my work. Then again I write very short chapters, so….

    Good luck with your editing.

  3. Martin Owton on

    Head-hopping within a chapter is not completely banned provided you put in a section break and make it clear whose POV you have shifted to. It is unflagged head-hopping which is a grave error under T-Party rules


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