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Friday, March 26, 2010


The week got away from me.

Part of the reason is because Greg came back...and we decided to spend some time getting reacquainted. :smile:

The other reason is because I am still polishing my latest manuscript. I don't like to burden my CPs with simple editing. They are too important to waste on that.

I am so pleased with the story. It is a little more epic than I originally envisioned, but what can you expect when you create Armageddon? It has spurred all sorts of side-story ideas and possibly another sequel.

Note to CPs: I'll post to our circle by Sunday.

Meanwhile, I have a question for my writer friends.

How polished do you get your manuscripts before you turn them over to a critique workshop or individual CPs? I know some of you are really 'editors in disguise' and your stuff is always prom-ready, but is it that way right out of the gate or do you make several passes over it before your CPs see it?


PS Come back Sunday, cuz I'm going to do the chicken dance and whoop it up.


Jennifer Shirk said...

I don't want my crit partners wasting their time on grammar thingies either.
I want them to concentrate on plot, pace, etc...
So I usually print the chapter out and go thru it pretty thoroughly before I e-mail it to them.

Marianne Arkins said...

I admit to being one of those freaky editor-types (probably because I WAS an editor for a couple of years), so my stuff is typically grammatically correct.

I always tell my CPs to not worry about that stuff anyway ... that I'm more worried about plot and characters, continuity issues and emotional connection.

They listen :-)

I don't know if I ever really have a first draft anyway, since I tend to go over everything I've written before I start the next portion... maybe that is why it takes me so long?

Jannette Johnson said...

I try to have my story in the best shape I can make it before I let anyone else read it, but I'm still weak in several area's so I appreciate any and all nits I get.

Can't fix it if you don't know it's broken.

Joanne said...

I give it a few onceovers, trying to make it as solid as possible before I hand it over. Like the others suggest, I don't want my readers to fuss with the small stuff, but rather the more critical things, in the story's development.

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: printing chapters

That is something I am trying to overcome. I have taught myself to edit entirely off the screen.

It helps that I needed to do this for my day job too. It forces my brain to think on the screen.

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: You were one of the people I was thinking about. But I didn't call you, freaky. Remember that. LOL.

I start with such a skinny first draft, you'd think it was a novella. I slowly dress it, forwards and backwards until it can stand on its own.

Maria Zannini said...

Jannette: That is oh-so true. I still have problems with occasional tense issues.

While I would say my learned English is better than most native speakers, I know there are still blind spots. CPs are wonderful there--especially when they can explain the rule about why something is so.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: This is probably the biggest difference between published authors and the not yet published.

We have enough experience to fix the technical stuff. It's the big picture where we need feedback.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I write pretty cleanly from the start, but I go over my WIP several times before I let someone else review it. For example, I tend to be sparse on description, so I try to weave it in where I think it's necessary. I want my work to be the best I can make it so my reviewers can cover my weak spots.

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: I am mortified when my CPs find editing mistakes.

My goal is to make every mistake imaginable *once* and then never again. :o)

Mary Witzl said...

Nowhere near as polished as I ought to get them. The more I write, the more I see just how much real polishing entails.

Fragrant Liar said...

My hand is raised. Freak editor here. However, I have a problem, shall we say, with perfectionism. I acknowledge this and keep on submitting most things in pretty good shape. If I don't, I make sure I say (and repeat as necessary), "This is a DRAFT." Critiquers feel they can do less editing then, and I can focus more on the content and other story matters.

Maria Zannini said...

Mary: As long as you have a good working relationship with your CPs, that's all that matters.

Maria Zannini said...

Fragrant Liar: Ah...I knew all the closet editors would come out. LOL.

Ref: draft
That's a good option to have. If reviewers know what it is you're looking for, they're more apt to give you what you want.