Allison Dobell), working through edits/revisions on a second, and thinking about the writing of another (a corporate project, which finds me bamboozled at times by some quite technical details).
An ending. A middle. A beginning. In reverse order, and requiring some serious head-hopping as I changed my various hats and tacks.
The writing process does not begin and end with the writing. If you're hoping that you can write your beautiful words and then let an editor 'sort the rest', it's probably time to pick up the nearest grammar book.
Writers write. They edit, pruning their sentences, killing their darlings, trying to remember whether that character had green eyes on page 53 or blue. They proofread their own work.... very, very carefully, knowing how distracting it is as a reader to find a typo in a published book.
There are, of course, specialists in all these areas to help along the way, but the book goes out with your name on it. If you're like me, you want to be proud of every word, sentence and, gasp, semi-colon.
When I write, I don't edit. I just bash it out, throwing xxxxx in where I can't think of the words. When I edit, I try to keep track of every stream and string within the story, knowing that if I pull a frayed thread out in chapter three, I'm going to need to see it through in chapter 14 - and every mention along the way.
When I proofread, I look at every word. Every. Single. Word. When I learnt to do this, back in my days as a cadet journalist, I was given a printed version and told to read it from the bottom up, backwards. That way you see the actual words, not the words that you think are there. And I always, always check the large type extra carefully after my Molloy incident.
Three manuscripts. Three approaches.
As Mondays go, it was a pretty good one.
Are you in the process of writing, editing or proofing? How's it going for you?
[Image: Hilda Grahnat]