Where Books Go to Die

Anne C. Miles > editing > Where Books Go to Die

Editing is where books go to die.

A new acquaintance on Twitter said this to me. He’s right, and I didn’t laugh. I winced. I’ve had insanity hit me these last weeks with my business and my family. It’s been unbelievable, with my stress levels completely maxed. It’s making it hard to edit, especially when editing feels so endless.

So here’s what I’m going to do about it. I’m going to set a deadline. I must finish by January 31. I’m also setting myself a schedule. My business is killing me right now, but my heart is here. So I’m going to try for 15 minutes a day on the book, then 3 hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Structural edits right now are the biggest thing. I’ve gotten two books on editing and they’re helping a lot. I’ve got feedback from 5 readers and am waiting on a few more.

Pat Rothfuss had 50ish people. The Long-Suffering Editrix® thinks I’m just seeking validation. I’m not, I’m trying to get different perspectives and they’ve been mostly positive but harsh. Like they’re saying things I need to hear, but it’s got me totally cowed. I’ve been afraid to even move forward at all and paralyzed by Imposter Syndrome. Also? Unable to read anything.

The biggest thing I’ve realized is how “light” my style is and I want to fix that. I may end up making drastic changes. I’ve got a stupid complex story and I’m thinking about just simplifying some things.

I hate editing. Hate it. I want to just write.

Anyhow. Listening to this lady.


She’s pretty good. Check her out if you’re editing. When I’m done with my self-editing I’ll send it off to the Long-Suffering Editrix® again. She already has it but is still just reading and weighing in occasionally. Oh, and she manages my panic.

The other resource I picked up this week that was way awesome was by another person on Twitter: Dan Harmon’s embryo plotting method.

There are a few youtubes out there about it, pretty sweet. I’m not sure if I’ll actually put this to use while revising but …another tool can’t hurt. I’m also using ProWritingAid and OneStopforWriters.com

So …baby steps. I’m making a story map and reading the book aloud to myself and making notes. A story map is a spreadsheet where I have a scene for each row. Basically I list the problems in the scene in the spreadsheet, to be revisited. I’m also making a timeline. These articles have been really good for me I think. I think in the article below I’m on step 4/5.

25 Steps To Edit The Unmerciful Suck Out Of Your Story

Self-Editing Basics: 10 Simple Ways to Edit Your Own Book

Anyhow, that’s the latest report. Sorry if I haven’t seemed myself lately. I got back from the vacation and it was like the universe upended. Hopefully things will get better soon.

Also, this is the cover I designed but Fay has made me question if I should use it or use hers. Or…gasp… actually hope to get a trade publisher, which is what I really want. It could happen. Thoughts?



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2 thoughts on “Where Books Go to Die

  1. Thanks for the shout out, Anne! That “light” feeling you describe about your own writing is something I used to feel, too. I called it “Dempsey Lite” and it drove me crazy. Keep working … it took time, but I got to the point where I feel my writing has gained a heft that mirrors the seriousness in my mind. Takes practice, but you’ll get there! 🙂

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