Editing Darklight left and right

By Greg Turnquist

Greg L. Turnquist worked on the Spring team for over thirteen years and is a senior staff technical content engineer at Cockroach Labs. He was the lead for Spring Data JPA and Spring Web Services. He wrote Packt's best-selling title, Learning Spring Boot 2.0 2nd Edition, and its 3rd Edition follow-up along many others.

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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