Tag Archives: editing

Work and Homework

August 30, 2011 10:31 am by MRM in serial, Writing

Ugh. Homework. Even students who are excited about class hate homework every now and then, and I’m groaning because it’s time for me to get to it. I’ve written before about the “joy” of editing in the Iterative Process. Right now it’s time to get the Bearers of Bad News ready to roll out on September 24th – it’s been complete for a while, but I need to tighten it up. I need to make sure the Argumentum et Dramatis Personnae section is ready, and I need to update pictures, previews, and God knows what else. Sadly, it feels like homework.

Issue 3 (as of yet untitled) is near completion, and it’s just so much more fun to plow ahead than it is to fix up the places you’ve already been. It’s the contrast of work versus homework, and every writer needs to do it. OSC told me that the only living draft is the first draft, and I do understand what he’s getting at. I’m not going to rewrite the whole thing. I do need to fix up inconsistencies, though, make sure the plot leads where I want it to go, and make sure that my characters are developing as I want them to be. One of the advantages of only being one issue ahead of where I’m publishing is that I have a much lower chance of introducing a “logical bug” by making a substantive change. If there are seventy chapters and I change something in chapter 2, there is absolutely no chance I can remember every time in those seventy chapters where that particular fact becomes important. If I make a change in Issue 2 while writing Issue 3, it’s easy enough to fix.

I’ll chalk that up as one of the few easy parts about writing serial fiction. It’s still a learning process for me, and I’m hoping that it doesn’t feel too chopped up. I want this to play out like a good television series, with each issue having its own story arc that has closure at the end, while leading naturally into what comes next. My hope is that someone could pick up Bearers of Bad News and enjoy it without having read Shelter From the Storm. That’s the point of the Argumentum section – it’s similar to a “Previously, on Boston Legal…” segment just before the episode begins.

Besides just TWDY, I’m editing my Magi Rebellion short story before I start shopping that around, and September is the month that I’m going to go back to City of Magi to prep it for submission. It should be an exciting time. I’m also participating in the Platform Building Campaign, so I don’t plan on sleeping a lot. Later this week I hope to post a primer on the social networking bonanza of marketing my work, the steps I like, the steps I don’t, and all the craziness that goes into an online presence, but we’ll see how that goes. Right now, I’ve got (paying) work to do, and after that… ugh… homework.

As I leave – some words I’ve had imprinted on my brain for the past few months (and quoted before):

Learning to edit is, quite simply, learning to hate yourself word by word.

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