Editing Darklight left and right

By Greg Turnquist

Greg is a member of the Spring team, an author of several books on Spring Boot, conference speaker, and the lead for Spring Data JPA.

May 12, 2015

undergrounders It is about three weeks from the Clarksville Writers Conference. My wife and I are signed up. As part of this endeavor, I have pledged to complete a top to bottom edit of Darklight.

It is tough. I have been writing this novel for about five years. The last big push was about two years ago when I finished it. I sent it out for feedback from a couple beta readers and slowly waited for comments. Since then, I haven’t been real active on processing it. First of all, I got engaged in writing Learning Spring Boot, which took a big bite out of everything. Next, editing can be real boring. You aren’t creating but instead polishing.

Well, I finally got things in gear when the Clarksville Christian Writers group was formed several months ago. We’ve been meeting weekly and it has been a fantastic opportunity to critique each other’s work. I hunkered down and started editing one scene at a time. And I realized how dreadful some of my writing was! I have gotten a lot smarter on POV, show-don’t-tell, simplified tenses, and the overuse of adverbs. What seemed challenging to notice before now stands out like a sore thumb.

I have been hacking away at my story, but then decided I wanted a polished up manuscript to take it to the conference in case an opportunity presents itself. At the time, I was on page 30 of a 122-page manuscript. The math didn’t line up, so I have stayed up late almost every night to knock out 3-5 pages. Last night, I hit page 66. Still don’t know if I can make it, but I sure am punching a bigger hole in this problem. I feel like every scene gets tightened up and more compelling. I have boiled away words without losing the meaning. Side effect: better. Much better.

Happy writing!


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