Monday, February 18, 2013

Editing: Nothing to Cry About

 If you are a writer involved in a group of like-minded crazies, I'm sure you've sent a message similar to the one I sent a few weeks ago to my inner circle:

I need a reader.

 It was a simple request and was met with a response from my friend and author David Rawding:

Sure. Page for page?

And that's how it began. I sent him 30 pages, he sent me 30. Then it became an episode of Writers Gone Wild as we delved into a week of editing---marathon style. In a week, we both did a fairly in depth evaluation of each other's novel, forsaking sleep, food, showers and work. Not really, but it took all of our spare time. And it was well worth it.

Hanging out with David Rawding
David and I have very different writing styles and our strengths are in different areas. However, our editing style is very similar, and that is where the real fun came in to play. Neither of us are much for writing 'good job!' all over a page. We're both  thick skinned and prefer helpful comments to empty compliments. To- the-point, at times harsh and at other times, pure comedy.

His comments from one particular scene were brutal.  It didn't need to be there, and the actions of my protag made no sense. Yes, my friend made fun of me. Yes, I deserved it. Yes, I was able to laugh about it-- so hard that tears filled my eyes.

You see, I love the editing process. I want to know what works and what doesn't, what needs more description or less, and what is downright wrong about a scene. I take comments and suggestions very seriously and use them to make my work stronger. But it can be a tedious process devoid of humor, so it helps to have someone who can lighten things up a bit--Even if it's me they are making fun of.

Afterall, being able to laugh at yourself is a great trait to have. And hopefully, it will keep my readers from laughing at me later. 

Check out David Rawding's website at and read about his manuscript, Taking on Water.  


Tim Greaton said...

Great post, Kelly, and so very true. Beta readers and editors are essential to the process. In the end, they are the gatekeepers and our safety nets to ensure we're not disappointing our end readers. Often times, we get only one shot with an audience, so making our work good, better, best is truly important. Always informative to stop by. Thanks again! :-)

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, Tim. I don't know what I would do without readers/editors. It seems writers get so close to the work that it's difficult at times to see the little things. Can't see the trees for the forest.

David S. Rawding said...

That's the type of editing people pay lots of money for and have to wait months for feedback. Although, I doubt any editor would be comfortable writing the "comments" we threw back and forth at our poor characters' sake haha. "Tag me in, Lance!"

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

But comments like that are so much more fun! Let's both write another book just so we can do that again. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly,
Great post, as always!

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, Jen.

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