Friday, June 25, 2010

Literary Pilates

I'm trying to tighten up the saggy middle of my current MS. I've gotten some feedback from a couple of family members, and need to improve the pacing before I let others lay eyes on it. So, today I'm asking--what's your process for editing and revising? When do you let others see your work, and who gets to see it?


Disgruntled Bear said...

My husband is always my first reader, even though YA paranormal romantic thrillers are not his preferred genre.

Theresa Milstein said...

I just wrote a post about critique groups and beta readers!

My method is to complete a rough draft, and then it to my sister for feedback (usually of the more general kind). After going through many revisions, I'll then show it to a beta reader. Then I revise. Before I used to submit, but now I know I need more readers.

Good luck with your saggy middle!

Lenny said...

hi miss bear! i write my stories down and one of my brothers types my words in the computer for me and he does changes on my grammar and stuff like that. he tells me if things dont make any sense and then i change them. i change stuff a lot. ha ha. im thinking to ask my cousin to read some of my stuff cause hes a writer and hes got a whole bunch of books out and a couple of movies too. maybe he would just laugh at me. hes a really nice guy so maybe he wouldnt.

glacierlilies said...

I really enjoy the draft-edits. I print out the whole thing, spread it out on a table, as many pages as possible, and get a look at the whole shape. Then I label sections by what they do and chop them up with scissors. Put them in piles, and start taping. The bits that never find a home get left for 'later,' which helps me let them go. I've never gone back to a later pile and found it useful, though! The physicality of it really helps me. Then I can line-edit, feeling reasonably assured that the stuff belongs there and is pointing where it should. Then I show it to interested friends, if I have any, or merely kind ones, if I don't. I really enjoy the pulling everything apart to check structure stage, though. Much nicer than other kinds of editing. whoo hoo! And, I'd be happy to check out your saggy middle if you'd like. I shouldn't, b/c I have Work To Do and all this packing, but that's kind of why...helping a friend becomes a virtuous form of avoidance!

Lua said...

After I finish my first draft I let two of my trusted friends read it and tell me what they do and don't like about it. They are not writers but good readers, so they can’t really say what is exactly wrong with the characters or the plot but they do tell me ‘something isn’t right here’ or ‘this character sounds a bit off’- and I get what they mean :)
After my MS goes through a round of revision I ask some other people whose opinions I highly value to read it and tell me their honest opinions are... :)

Anonymous said...

I don't like to show my MS until it is completed (after my own revisions). Then, I hand it over to two friends; a published author, and a "professional" reader. They are unafraid of using red pens!

Disgruntled Bear said...

Hi Average Girl,
I agree that an unrestrained red pen is a true blessing!

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