Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whatever Tuesday: Brief Editing Surprises.

Now that I have completed my search and destroy mission to obliterate as many “ly” and “ing” words as possible, a funny thing has happened. My editor has sent back a few pages and added them back in. Wow…stop the presses. Yes, it is true, on rare occasions an “ing” word makes the sentence flow better or breaks up a series of “s/he” at the beginning of the sentence. Another example of learning the rules and now you can break them.

At this writing I have completed chapters 1 – 22 in the final edits my editor has sent me.

Another interesting fact: No matter how hard you try, you’ll never please everyone. So follow your voice and do your best.

I’m off the do more final edits. Do you have a question? Go ahead, ask.


Dominic de Mattos said...


OK here is a question for you!

Do you ever disagree with your editor's corrections? How do you resolve a difference of opinion?


Jessica Bell said...

That's so true! Nothing is ever perfect. You just have to be true to yourself I suppose :o)

Francine said...


Without lys and ings, often as not prose loses lyrical essence of flow and sounds stilted, whereas lovely writing is oft acclaimed as such merely because beautiful text likened to silent music in mind!

Joanne said...

A few rules occasionally broken in just the right way can be really effective in our writing.

Question: What's the next step after this final round of edits?

Joanna St. James said...

I always thought writing a real conversation has to involve at least a few ly and ing words. Good luck

Hart Johnson said...

It's so funny,isn't it... to faithfully follow the rules and then be directed to break them. My first book was WAY too long so my adverbectomy was extensive. Funny though, one of my critique partners read it after and said 'it doesn't sound like you anymore'... *sigh* I know there is a middle ground... but FINDING IT! Ack!

Well done on your editing process!

N. R. Williams said...

Dominic asked, do I ever disagree with my editor. At the moment I haven't found anything to disagree with, however I often have questions. So I email here for clarification. She does occasionally give me license to keep something the way it is. Then I play with it and see what sounds best.

Yes, Jessica it can be difficult, especially for the novice writer to know when to take advice and when to follow their instincts.

Francine, your comment was beautiful. Thanks for leaving it.

Joanne asked, what's the next step in my writing. I have answered this previously in a post so here is the short version. E-publishing, first to kindle and then on to more plus a printed copy through CreateSpace.

You are right Joanna. I didn't get rid of them all, but when I could I did. Now I will rethink the tone of the sentence in conjunction with the paragraph. We need varied sentences.

Thank you all for stopping in and leaving comments.

Jules said...

Crap, I'm still trying to learn the rules and be disciplined and now...

I can break them ;)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Quinn said...

Yeah, I totally don't buy into a lot of those writing rule. Eliminately adverbs ... well, why are they in the English language if we're not allowed to use them. I can see the logic behind the rule though ... and I guess that's why I allow myself to break it.

That's an important lesson though ... you have to understand the rules before you can break them. I got away with a lot in my university English courses, but it was because I showed that I understood the rules, so my professors allowed me to be creative and break them.

Colene Murphy said...

Good to know! I love ing and ly words...they're so pretty. It's a hard lesson NOT to use them. Congratulations!

Clarissa Draper said...

You're doing great! Keep plugging away! I know that I have to keep going on my edits as well.


N. R. Williams said...

Jules, I've heard it before and have learned it in numerous creative formats, but breaking the rules and getting away with it seems like driving outside the lines.

Hi Quinn, it sounds like you have an excellent handle on all things English grammar. I'm jealous.

Colene, sparingly is still the norm and look I got to use an "ly" word to comment about it. LOL

Edits are eternal Clarissa, at least for us writer folks.

Thank you all for leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

Liz Fichera said...

I think we should look at rules as guidelines. Writing that conforms exactly to "writing rules" always sounds stilted and unnatural, IMO. Best of luck with your edits!

The Golden Eagle said...

That's certainly a true fact!

Dominic de Mattos said...

Surely the purpose of writing is to evoke the imagination of the reader without the words getting in the way. I suppose that the war on -ly and -ing words is to smooth the flow of information into the readers mind. Anything that snags their attention, that draws attention to the words instead of the meaning, stops this flow and breaks the readers concentration. Once the concentration is broken, the reader regains an awareness of time together with all the hundred and one things that the reader should be doing, the book is put down and if that happens too often, it is not picked up again. A sentence that is twisted out of shape will break concentration, as will strange adverbs, similes or adjectives. I tell my employees when writing a report anything that will make the reader say "eh?" must be re-written. I call it eliminating the eh factor! Absolutely the same applies to fiction writing.

Ummmm ... did I get carried away there?

*slips away whistling nonchalantly*

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Hart, I missed you at first but now I found your comment. Our voice is so important and a good editor should respect that.

Thank you Liz. No stilted stories, that's my motto.

Yes it is true Golden.

I hear you whistling in the corner Dominic. LOL But your comments hit the mark.

Thank you all for stopping in and leaving a comment.

KarenG said...

That's so funny, that you took them out and the editor put them back in, only probably in just the right places.

Amanda Sablan said...

YES YES YES to this entire post! All of the greatest writers who ever lived have broken the "rules." And I'm actually quite obsessive about not having every sentence start with "he" and "she"...

Oodles of luck on your edits! Hang in there!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Karen. Yes it seems I over did it.

Yeah, the "he," "she" thing is quite the problem. I am glad you were so enthusiastic Amanda.

Thank you both for dropping by and leaving a comment.

Patricia A. Timms said...

I love these kinds of posts. It goes to show that your manuscript does not have to be perfect to get an editor, it just has to be workable and have a good premise.

Is your editor part of the publishing process or the agent process? What step are you on and how many more editor's do you have to go through to get on the shelf?

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Patricia.
I hired my editor and will self publish the e-book way.