Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Day in the Life of an Editing Nube

Just for kicks, I thought I would have some fun showing how awesome I can manage my time. A confluence of events happened this week that, for the most part, kept me from working on my crappy novel. Now, I have completely written, it... twice in fact. So I'm not actually writing anything. At this point I'm going over it looking for inconsistencies, bad logic, stupid characters, plot holes, all that sort of stuff.

So, I print out my 303 pages of drivel, use all my ink and most of my paper and set to work with a red pencil. Said pencil goes from brand new to about three inches long by the time I'm done. The weight of my printed novel noticeably increased from all that pencil lead it gained during my run through. It's ugly. Now, I had a goal of having this done by Mar 1. I really wanted a pretty clean manuscript by then. I probably screwed up when I handed to my wife with a deadline that she had no interest in following. After a few weeks I took it back and did it myself.

I missed Mar 1, but I figure I may have something readable by the end of the week this week. But implementing my red marks into my digital file has proved challenging. I had managed to get the first 40 pages or so done early this week. But Saturday was my day to really get this thing done. My wife even agreed to go to work at the office today to give me uninterrupted time to work.

8:00 a.m. - I realize it's Saturday and didn't oversleep. Wife gets up and goes to work. I poke around the internet while she gets ready.

8:15 a.m. - Missus leaves, I have house all to myself. I put manuscript next to me in bed and laptop on my lap. I realize I need a real workspace. I'm tired of writing and editing in bed. I'm getting bed sores.

9:00 a.m.- I realize that I am still on the internet and it's raining outside. I remember the dog has been outside since the wife woke up an hour ago. I bring her in, feed her. Then hop back in bed and get ready for some serious editing.

9:14 a.m. - After reviewing changes already made, I see I have red mark on my printed copy that says "Insert scene here, something emotional, awesome, and bridges plot points." I did write said scene last night around midnight. I check it out this morning.

9:15 a.m. - After reading inserted scene I try to recall if I was drunk last night. I'm pretty sure I wrote a scene about a kid eavesdropping on his grandmother's private phone conversation. What I read this morning however, was scene about a kid who has an unnatural attraction to Crayola crayons.

9:30 a.m. - I decide to tweet about my what I've got to get done. Then start trying to fix broken scene.

10:00 a.m.  - Scene still sucks, but at least it is about kid eavesdropping on Grandma. I tweet again about how I haven't made any headway on editing. Still have 260 pages to go.

10:17 a.m. - after a bit of serious editing I come across a page with no red marks on it. None. I wonder if I skipped it in my first run through. I wonder if I am capable of producing an entire page of prose that is error free.

10:20 a.m.- I decide that I'm not capable. I go over said page with red pencil. Find errors.

10:36 a.m.- After getting ten pages of edits done I decide I'm pretty much home free. Decide to blog about experience. I sign onto blogger, see new blogs and recall how much I suck. I decide to read a few blogs and post some comments -  thoughtful ones, not crappy ones.

10:45 a.m. - post crappy comment on another's blog, then realize I actually double posted crappy comment. Decide to quite reading blogs and go back to editing.

11:02 a.m. - Start writing blog post, recounting day's events.

11:23 a.m. - realize it's 11:23 and that I've only done 10 pages so far today. Also realize I'm hungry. Make deal with self. Do 10 more pages then have oatmeal.

11:49 a.m. - I see puts their love it button right next to their hate it button. Which of course means I'm randomly telling them that I love songs I hate and hate songs I love. I'm too incompetent to figure out how to put the songs I love back into my playlist. So I just keep adding new stations instead.

12:03 p.m. - pop into twitter to let the world know my progress and instead find link to possible discovery of extraterrestrial microbes. I freak out (Just in case you're interested). End up not tweeting. *edit* total hoax btw - click here for more.

12:11 p.m. - am too hungry to continue. I see I've made it to page 66. Looks like more than 20 pages to me. Only took half a day. At least it's faster than writing it the first time. Oatmeal here I come.

12:56 p.m. - had oatmeal and read some of Mira Grant's Feed. Have epiphany of sorts. That no amount of editing will make my book anywhere near that good. Also noting that I'm not going to get finished today. I'm thinking of taking a nap.

1:15 p.m. - son comes upstairs and asks for food and a trip to the mall. I kick him out.

2:15 p.m. - took son to mall. Now on page 83.

3:25 p.m. - spend last hour taking son/nephew to mall and then had another lunch at Salsarita's, I eat there like, lets see, maybe five times a week. I order the same dish, sit in the same chair. I even know everyone's work schedules there. I'm so lame. Anyway. I also read more of the aforementioned book, Feed. I'm still of the opinion that it is much awesomer than I can really aspire to.

I think I'd like it if one day, someone picks up one of my novels in the bookstore and says, "How does this guy keep getting published, he sucks," then I've achieved all my goals in life. To be a unliked, unrespected, yet published author. Keep dreaming.

3: 45 p.m. - Just realized that I have to go back to the mall in under an hour to pick the boys back up. Looks like I'll shuttle them off to my sister's place, then get ready here and spend my evening out and about, trying to partake in as many adult beverages as I can handle. I will at the very least, get a hundred pages done before then.

3:59 p.m. - missus calls and says she's coming home from work. I'm still on page 83. She says we're leaving as soon as she gets here. I say I've to pick up kids from mall and take to my sister's. She says hurry. I realize I may be done for the day.

Total pages edited: 83
Pages edited today: 41
Pages remaining to edit: 221



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your meandering day sounds like mine. Although you edit much, much faster.

alberta ross said...

oh those other sites which tempt - I spend far too long trailing after them (research of course!!)

Zan Marie said...

LOL! I know this day all too well. ; )

Rogue Mutt said...

I think a box of 12 red pens is like $2 from Staples. Then you don't have to waste time sharpening pencils.

Trisha said...

Wait... has a hate button?!?!?!
or is that the 'ban' button?

Witless Exposition said...

This makes me feel a lot better. Sounds remarkably like a day of mine!

Deborah Walker said...

*laughs* this is great.I'm strangely intrigued about the edited scence concerning a boy and his crayolas

Rusty Webb said...

Alex - I'm cheating a bit here. I've already done most of the editing with my big red pencil, I'm just inserting the changes into my draft. And at this point it's mostly line edits and some copy edits. Not wholesale revisions. I still may need to do that, but if I do someone else will have to tell me because I can't see it anymore.

That said, I read your book recently and found it to be very clean overall, so you may be slow editing, but you certainly don't miss much. If I go over my stuff half a dozen times, the 7th time through I will find just as many typos as I did the first.

Alberta - yes, the internet is a true curse for those without a will of iron. I have lost entire days in a fog of youtube videos and ramblings of self-made experts of the arcane. I pity myself.

Zan, Witless - I'm glad I'm not alone.

Rogue - Thanks for the plug, I do feel bad for using the pencils up, they're supposed to be for art projects. My wife will be furious when she opens the box and all the red pencils are gone.

Trisha - hate, ban, in this instance I used the two words interchangeably. Love it - hate it just has a symmetry that love it - ban it does not.

Deborah - I promise you wouldn't be too intrigued if you read any of it.

"I pulled out my favorite color from the box, 'spock's blood'. Ma used to tell me when she was a kid it would have been called 'green'. I would just laugh and laugh, she could be so funny. I used spock's blood to write all my notes with, but it made me sad to have to pull back the paper, when the crayons are new... blah, blah, blah."

I think that went on for a page or two, again, it made sense at the time

Angela Scott said...

Don't feel bad. My day usually goes a little something like the above. All I seem to accomplish lately is reading blogs by other writers *wink*, twitter and follow twitter, and blog on my blog. I have one stinkin' chapter left to write on my WIP before editing and yet, it's been a full week of not even looking at it.

(Oh, and by the way, writing in bed with laptop isn't a bad thing *writing in bed with laptop* but the bed sores do suck)

Kari Marie said...

This is what happens to me when I'm trying to write on Saturday. Everytime. 10:17 was actually my favorite part.

ankmanpro said...

NIce blog! Followed!

Regina said...

I think that the fact that you are make some progress is better than none. I just wish I could muster the motivation. Humph!

Zan Marie said...

Hi groupie,

I've given you two awards at my blog. Check it out.

Zan Marie

Lola Sharp said...

Hello fellow crusader. *waves* Nice to 'meet' you.

Yeah, I know the bed sores well. Husband calls me a 'bed bug'. It's weird, but especially in the winter, under the comforter, dogs and cat snuggled up around me and my macbook, the bed is my most creative place to write. I have two, yes TWO, of my own offices. Two rooms dedicated to me and only me, decorated and fully outfitted with desks and bookshelves and computers. (Husband has his own home office as well, the Kid has her own as's a big house). Yet, I write and work in bed 90% of the time.
I used to be embarrassed about it and thought I was the only one, but after mentioning it to CPs and on my blog, there are LOTS of us. In fact, more of us than not. :) Now don't you feel better?

As for the time sucks and procrastination techniques...yeah, we're all guilty of that too. You are not alone. (Twitter is bad news for my writing)


Michael Offutt said...

oh editing. I feel your pain.

Rogue Mutt said...

You've won another award!

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

too funny! It's amazing you got some work done with all those distractions :)

Rusty Webb said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting.

Angela - thanks for the support, I did manage to move to the couch this evening. If nothing else, the change in scenery is good.

Kari - I'm glad you liked 10:17, unfortunately, it did indeed turn out that I missed said page in my earlier pass on the manuscript.

Regina - I figure it's now or never, I'm tired of another year going by and I've got nothing to show for it. I am determined to be productive in 2011, even if it's only me producing crap.

Thanks Zan and Rogue - I'll come back to the awards soon, my next post I hope.

Lola - seriously? Your kid has their own private office? In a home that has, by my count, a minimum of 4 home offices. I'm impressed. Very impressed.

Michael - If I'm ever successful, I think I'll hire a freelance editor to go over my stuff. The self-editing crap is for the birds.

Sylvia - Thanks for stopping by, I'm glad my pain can bring at least a little joy to others.