Saturday, August 20, 2011

Struggles with Edits

Waters of Mormon
By Walter Rane
I am in the throes of editing my Book of Mormon novel, Soulfire. My amazing editor believes in my story, I believe in my story, and my friends who have read it believe in my story. 

The writing SUCKS! 

Okay, maybe that's being a little harsh. I wrote this book over twenty years ago while I was a beginning writer. In fact it started out as a short story. I let it sit for a couple of years. Then the bug to write a novel hit me, but I didn't know about what.

While I was struggling, it came to me that I should turn my short story into a novel--it certainly had the potential for a longer version. It took me seven years to write it. During that time I experimented with different writing styles, never being able to quite find my voice. 

So now as I look back at this story, I'm having to really hard time editing it. Sometimes I think I just want to start over and rewrite the whole thing. So what keeps me from doing just that?

What do you do when you're stuck? When you're revising and you don't enjoy the process? What helps you? 


  1. I wrote this big long comment on what I do but then blogger froze me out :(

    Basically it went like this:
    I take the offending piece one chapter at a time. I copy the chapter and put it in a fresh document. This allows me to be ruthless with the chopping (because I know I won't lose any of my previous work.)

    Usually after cutting the thing in half and creating something I feel much better about, I just paste it right over the offending chapter.

    And a chapter at a time is so much easier to swallow.

  2. I'm only on my 2nd work and I've found on both of them that letting it sit for awhile then coming back to it helps me. (I'm not on a deadline though) Doing a different project for a bit, then coming back to the other one helps me see it through fresh eyes and I can see what really doesn't work and get rid of it.

    And on a different note. I gave you a blog award on my blog. Check it out.

  3. Shelly, I took your excellent advice, and I am doing just that. What a great idea. I have less than 100 pages left to edit. This strategy really helps. And Laura, I do that a lot, bounce between projects. It does keep me fresh, except this time, I have a time crunch and I have to finish it.