Editing… @#%*&!!!

I know it’s necessary, and I’m VERY thankful for my alpha and beta readers, but I #@%!) HATE editing. Especially when they point out that yes, maybe ‘I’ knew what a particular comment/description/paragraph meant, but they damn sure didn’t. And you can spel chek all damn day and it won’t catch mis-wordings. Is that even a word?

And expansions to explain something means searching through the entire story/novella/book to make sure ALL of the changes make sense (which of course they don’t, so you end up fixing multiple things).

And once all THAT is done, you send it back out to the beta readers, who once again beat you up for (insert issue here). Which leads to another round of edits…

Then the editor gets her hands on it, lather, rinse, repeat… Sigh…

It would also help if I was a good writer, and hadn’t spent 40 years doing technical documents and briefings where punctuation didn’t have to be perfect… Grrr… And yes, I can spel Oxford comma, even if I don’t know how to use it, them, whatever… 🙂  That’s why I put a bunch of them at the end of the story and tell the alpha and beta readers to put ’em where they want to.

Along with this, I’m dealing with the cover art, and blurbs, and trying to fight off the muse that wants to add EVEN MORE STUFF to the story… Which is already about twice as long as originally planned…

And it’s a month late, because of the extra writing.

Writing is fun, the rest of it, not so much, and before any more people ask, I will not be doing Cronin’s time in Vietnam. There are plenty of stories out there on ‘Nam, written by much better than I.


Editing… @#%*&!!! — 18 Comments

  1. I feel your pain, and sympathize. That old saying about “perfect is the enemy of good” comes to mind.

  2. At least you don’t get dinged because the verb, after a long series of clauses following, at the end is. “You’ve been reading a lot of German recently,” as one alpha reader phrased it.

    Ja, das hab’ ich getan. Aber ich verstehe nicht, was das Problem ist.

  3. Did you deliberately leave the 2nd L off of spell, or is this a one finger salute to the muse?

    mis-wordings? sounds good to me, might want to trademark the word before someone else does.

  4. While it’s true that there are a quite a few stories about Vietnam, none of them are Cronin’s story…just sayin’. 😛

  5. While Vietnam stories might be common, I imagine there are a few good ones about the return to the ZI post-Nam.

  6. Sometimes I think the more you read something, particularly after giving birth to it (writing), the more your mind skips over anomalies by seeing what you thought you wrote, rather than what was written.
    On top of that, your mind has seen this project for awhile and is sooo ready for something different!

    Just to clarify, we readers happily overlook the torture you suffer to get your brain squeezin’s to us. We are basically walking undead, “Brains!”

    Those of us asking for Vietnam Cronin stories are just trying to keep him with us.
    Thank you for all you wrote for us!

    • Yes, sometimes that (seeing what you thought you wrote) happens. But I frequently experience something different:

      First rereading: “Mmm, that sentence seems slightly awkward, but I don’t see how to improve it.”

      Second reading: “Oh. THIS would be better, but it’s not worth the trouble of fixing the original.”


  7. I heard a number of Cronin-grade stories from ‘Nam, some told by a retired LRRP, some told by retired Green Beanies and other SF types. I’ll pass. Heard enough casual references to repurposed hand tools already, and don’t need another farm boy’s great ideas.

  8. The science and engineering university I went to for one year before I found out my mind just doesn’t handle advanced math or programming languages (sorry, RAH, but I guess I could never be one of your stories’ heroes..) used their freshman grammar and composition class as a weedout course. Not physics or differential equations, nooo, that would be too easy. Engrish!

    I knew I was doomed when I aced the G&C but, uh, yeah… physics… First and only test was like ‘why am I in a math test right now, my brain HURTSSSSSS.’ So I bailed on that career tract. Thanks high school guidance counselors!!! Great help there!!!!!

    So, yeah, not really related to what you said, just wanted to cheer you up. You’re in the tear down and detail portion of an engine rebuild. Yay. No…. Hang in there, it will be worth it. (And even David Weber gets grammar and word useage wrong… occasionally… so there’s that…)

  9. Rev- I’d settle for ‘close’… sigh

    TXRed/Orvan- No thank you, I screw Engrish up bad enough… LOL

    Grog- Yes… LOL

    Tole/Home/PK- And THAT is why I’m not going to do it.

    RC- Don’t step on them too hard, I need ’em back for the next story, and you’re exactly right! Sigh…

    Margaret- Oh yes… OH HELL YES… sigh

    Beans- I’d settle for 1/10th the issues David has… LOL

  10. Been there, done that, have the tear stained keyboard to prove it.

    As an author, when you start a new project, you love what you are doing. By the end, you hate yourself and what you did. Writing “The End” is a heck of a trip! Then you get to editing which Dante never really formally postulated but it is in there somewhere Hell.

    We have your six no matter what you need done.

    You write great stuff and I impatiently await your next novel as I know it will be great.

  11. Hey Old NFO;

    I only used one comma out of the spares you provided, thank you very much 😀