Christmas in July

I originally planned to make this weekend a four day weekend that would start in about 10.5 hours. I had to give up my idea of taking Friday off in order to take an extra day around Labor Day (office politics – sigh), so I only have tomorrow and then the normal weekend on its heels.

With 4 days, I wanted to run through the long novel in one go, and rewrite the beginning more or less at once, in order to keep all the strands involved and clear, once I wrapped my head around all of them. I might still try that over the weekend, although it is doubtful. But I AM going to be doing a line edit on my Christmas novel that would basically render it ready to publish, but for formatting.

I don’t really know how this is going to go, to be honest. I know how to line edit my own words, and I know my weaknesses on a micro level. But I have only ever applied my learned skills as an editor at nonfiction. I believe fiction writing has a lot more room to be loose, to have “it was” constructions and to employ adverbs and to be a happy medium between conversational and literati-polished, so I don’t know whether spending this time will be worth it (versus a sort of diminishing returns scenario). I am sure my words are fallible; there have to be places of wordiness or vagueness or miscued action that need correcting. But how many places? Will finding five of them be worth losing an entire day? If I find five hundred will I change my mind about this story being publishable?

I have time. This is slated for publishing between October and December, no matter what, even if I have nothing else ready. Since I apparently need an excuse to avoid getting anything else closer to ready: here we go!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Christmas in July

  1. ABE

    Sounds like a massive but potentially enjoyable project: reading your own book (and being able to change anything you don’t like).

    I get so focused on today’s scene that I haven’t re-read the whole in forever. I just may do that: it would definitely remind me what I’m doing.

    Just don’t get stuck in the edits – they have these little Post It slips – 3/8″ wide little flags – I use when I need to mark a lot of changes.

    Have fun – you still have 3 days out of the 4.

    • I hope it will be enjoyable! I am actually realky bad about rereading my work a little too much (i.e., when I should be focused on new scenes). On my flight home from our trip to Europe last month I read the whole through and marked the obvious flaws, then went in and corrected them, along with beta feedback, before putting the draft in its editing layout to print. This pass through is, alas, probably going to be tedious as it is a fine tune of a text i am now quite familiar with. BUT in my university editing course I enjoyed the challenge of grinding off the rough edges so maybe I can have that pleasure tomorrow instead of the joy of reading exactly the right story for my sensibilities 🙂

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