1. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Editing and Goal Setting

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by dizzyspell, Aug 11, 2011.

    I've always been really big on goal setting in all areas of life, especially my writing.

    When I'm working on rough drafts, it's easy to say "I'll write 5k today" and get it done. But when it comes to editing, it's harder to set tangible goals. Working 8 hours a day isn't as satisfying as seeing your word count go up.

    Also, if you rush your editing, it ends up needing to be redone anyway, so a goal like "edit a chapter a day" isn't always feasible.

    Do you guys set goals for editing? If you do, what sort of goals do you set?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Quality, not quantity. Who cares how many hours you work per day, or how many words you write per day (or edit per day), if you're not happy with the result? You still have to go over it again until you ARE happy.

    Writing is an art, and perhaps quantitative goals are not the best way to approach it. Just make sure that each day, when you turn off your computer or set down your pen, you're happier with your work than you were the previous day.
     
  3. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    The thing is, minstrel, I like setting goals. :) Yes, my ultimate goal is to have something of quality in front of me, but I'm editing a full manuscript--one I'm pretty proud of, at that--and I got this far by setting goals for myself.

    It's just the way I work. Huge goals seem more attainable when you set stepping stones before them.

    For instance, my main goal is to get published. In order to get published, I need to write a novel. Writing it is also a goal. However, as we all know, it's a daunting task. So I set myself the goal of writing 5000 words a day until it's done. Great :) Done that.

    Here's where I've become a bit stuck. I have been editing for the past two months, and it's a huge task. However, I can't see any way of creating smaller goals to make the task more manageable.

    Not everyone works this way, and not everyone has to. But it works for me. And it's certainly not an excuse to produce sub-standard work. Quantative goals have never made the end product worse for me.

    What I am looking for is a way of motivating myself to achieve quality editing results, by breaking the editing process down into manageable sections. :)
     
  4. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    May i ask, how many times have you rewritten your manuscript?
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It may sounds simplistic, but what about a time-based goal? "I'll spend one hour a day editing my manuscript, with full concentrated attention."

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    About three times, now :) This is the fourth. Why?

    EDIT: @ChickenFreak, I've tried that, but I tend to rush when I set myself a time limit. Which is ridiculous, really, because then the next day I have to edit it all over again. Rushed editing is never good enough. -_-
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The thing is, dizzyspell, you are now in the stage of your work that cannot reasonably be measured quantitatively. You're trying to improve quality, and if you can come up with an objective, quantifiable measure of that, please let us know, because I'm sure we'd all benefit.

    I think you're going to step outside your comfort zone to complete your novel. You're going to have to stop measuring quantitatively and start working on quality, which means personal taste, and all that entails. It won't be easy, but it's where you are.
     
  8. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    You're probably right. That's why I asked. I wanted to see if you guys knew of a way of combing goal setting with the editing process, but it appears as if that's difficult. :)

    I hope you don't think that I'm trying to power through this, or anything like that. :) I don't care if I only edit a paragraph a day, so long as I do it well. Quality is, and always has been, my primary goal. :D
     
  9. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    It makes sense to have some kind of loose target, but it really would have to be loose, or perhaps flexible is a better word. An entire manuscript to go through is a daunting task, so break it down into sections and plan to do a section a week, or something like that. But like other people have said, the main thing is the quality of your editing.

    On the whole, I think it is highly beneficial to have good organisation and time management, especially if you plan to be a professional novelist; you'll need to condition yourself for the task of deadline writing and things like that.
     
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  10. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I set goals for myself, like "write two pages today" or writing to a certain word count.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    New theory: "I will spend at least one hour a day on focused editing, and I will edit no more than four pages per hour."

    ChickenFreak
     
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  12. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    ^You know, that might just work! Thanks! :D
     
  13. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    It's normal that time gets away from editing because editing is a PROCESS that is truly time consuming and cannot truly be quantifiable unless you're only working one element of editing at time. From all my writing experience, it takes more time for me to edit a chapter than to write a chapter. I can write 4 k in one night that will be maybe 3 hours of work, but to edit that same 4 k will take me upwards 6 hours.

    I think editing is just something that cannot be accomplished in a one-track mind set, and this is highly dependable on your personality type as well.

    When I edit, I'm not just checking for grammar errors, but I'm gauging things like sentence structure, tone, style, mood, overall feel, impact, etc.

    And to check for all those elements take time. It's not a fast process like writing and I think it's normal that it feels like you're doing less or don't know how to goal set.

    In general, I try not to set editing goals because once I start editing, I feel it does ruin the creative flow of writing. The minor things like missing words, comma splices etc, are understandable, but true editing, no.

    Mainly don't worry about truly editing until you've finished your novel. But still continue to re-read what you have previously written just to make sure that you're on track as far as stylistic elements are concerned.
     
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