Back to the Editing Grindstone

I had a very happy moment last night. But first, let me back up. I have an editing method that allows me to double my effectiveness during revision in half the time. My secret?

I cheat.

There are two writers in my household: myself and my wife. We tend to run everything we write under one another’s noses for a thorough and brutal copy-edit. When my wife finished the first two drafts of her first novel, I put my project on hold and scoured her manuscript for a substantive edit. The last couple weeks was my turn. She’s been giving my first draft of The Curse Merchant a quick read while I’ve hovered nearby with a combination of terror and anticipation.

Last night, she finished it.

Either we're jumping for joy, or we're having a grand mal seizure.

The happy moment? When she came home, she was 90% through the manuscript. Rather than the usual “Hi honey, I’m home,” she gave me and the boy a hug and sat down immediately to finish it. Seems the third act of The Curse Merchant proved too compelling to put down!

So, that’s the good news. Seems the story is interesting, the pacing was brisk, and the POV character proved to be engaging and likeable. Now, here’s the bad news.

I now have two… count ’em, two… manuscripts in revision.

Thus, tonight begins a new schedule in our household. I’m carving out special time alone to really put the screws to these pages. This requires a bit of flexibility and creative scheduling due to my bio-rhythms.  Here’s the thing… I’m not a night person. Nor am I really a morning person. My maximum brain power engages somewhere in the middle of the day, which is usually when I’m at my “day job”. And after work is the commute, and after commute is family time, and then there’s dinner, and then the night time routine. By the time I reach a moment of quiet at home, I’m hitting a degree of exhaustion that frankly precludes creativity.

So we’re trying a new scheme wherein I steal away an hour every day after I get home for editing work. Just me, the computer, and the dark and silent Writing Cave. Maybe a glass of beer. I do hope for good things with this situation, as I’m staring down the barrel of two manuscripts that are just begging for a sound and solid thrashing with the red pen.

But the greatest benefit I find diving into the next couple months is the feedback I’ve received from my wife. The story is good, and I’m about to make it even better!

Image credit: Tanatat

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