1. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    How long should editing take and what should I look for?

    Discussion in 'Editing' started by Alex R. Encomienda, Oct 25, 2016.

    I'm not quite finished yet but I'm nearing the end. I have a few peeves I'm not satisfied with and would like to take out/add a few things in. How long should editing generally take? I have a word count of 120,000. Also, what sort of thing should I be careful of? I'm sure most of you have experienced editing an awful lot of manuscripts.

    Thank you!
     
  2. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    It takes as long as it needs to take. The differences between processes and the amount of work a draft needs are probably too much for anyone to give you a useful answer.
     
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  3. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Editing and revisions take forever. It really sucks that I'm not a first-draft genius. I thought I was for a while. Reality sucks. Editing sucks.
     
  4. Dr. Mambo

    Dr. Mambo Contributor Contributor

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    Anything that's going to distinguish your manuscript in a negative way from others. SPAG errors are probably the easiest way to the trash bin.

    As for how long it takes, that depends. I'll often spend hours and hours getting a piece to where I think it's perfect, then let it sit for two months, come back to it, and start the process all over again. Fresh eyes notice things that slip by when you're writing a piece. The longest thing I've written is about 80,000 words, and I've been through it in its entirety about 5-6 times (and certain parts many more times than that). It won't be done until I can get that number of fulls edits up to 10-12.
     
  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Are you guys talking about editing and revising as being the same thing? That's what I was thinking, but I just wondered if I was on the same page as everyone.
     
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I think that this is a "how long is a piece of string?" question. I don't think there's an answer.

    I haven't finished a novel, but for me editing a shorter piece takes a good deal longer than it took to write the piece in the first place. Two times, five times, ten times, more?

    @deadrats, I'm assuming that, yes. I suppose I do distinguish between editing and revising and copy editing, but I assume that this thread is about all of those activities together.
     
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  7. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

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    The short answer is; forever. You can always find things to tweak. The issues that would most concern me would be anything other readers might dislike but I won't know what those are until I've had the manuscript reviewed by several other people. I can write something and think, 'this could be the best part of the book or it could be the worst' and I just don't know until I'm told. I often re-arrange the order of events so continuity is a real issue. You can't have your MC driving his car in chapter 2 and then taking his first driving lesson in chapter 3. Characters acquiring knowledge from nowhere is an easy mistake to make so whenever anyone says anything about what's going on, ask, 'how does he know this?' Ideally, the text should read so smoothly the reader forgets he's reading a book and falls into the fictional world you've created. Try reading the text out aloud quickly. If you find yourself stumbling over the words, where your tongue assumes different words to be there, change the text to those other words.
     

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