Somewhere, someone is looking at my title and going “Well, duh. What did you expect, idiot?”
To them I reply…nothing. There’s no come back that won’t make me sound like a dork. (Which I am, but I digress.)
The point! I have learned quite a bit about myself and my self-editing style during this first novel experience–in particular, I still have no grasp on properly extrapolating how long it’ll take me to finish editing–as my (saint of an) editor has heard with “You’ll get it tomorrow…maybe the day after…” at least once every day the past…week?
There’s a reason this bugs me. I’m usually pretty good at figuring out how long it’s going to take me to do something whether it’s my CAD work or anything else–
With my comic–I can say without a doubt that I can plot, sketch, ink, color, shade, highlight & letter a complete WaM strip in 2 to 5 hours depending on the complexity and how badly I’m abusing copy-paste that day. Folks who tune into my streaming sessions will vouch that this is true as I’ve been consistently drawing WaM’s individual strips in 2 to 5 hours three times a week for like six years. I got that down.
Writing? I can knock out 1500-5000 words in an hour (assuming that’s all I’m doing). I know that.
Editing? Man is that a monster rearing its ugly head I’ve never met before. Reading out loud–I might manage to get a few pages every ten minutes with mark ups, but even that varies depending on the page. When I finally gave up on reading out loud and just read on paper (still caught a ton of stuff by the way) to try and meet my ever pushed forward deadline–I still only cut that time down by maybe a third. It’s ridiculous, and I’m sure authors everywhere are just shaking their heads as this is probably the norm.
The worst part? While I finished the hand-written mark-ups, I find myself re-editing what I edited when I transfer it over to the typed copy which takes even more time I hadn’t factored into the schedule. Scrivener (I love this software), color codes my revision edits–so I’ll notice a huge chunk that hasn’t changed since draft one and go “…that can’t be perfect” and re-read it again–BAM! I’m fixing things again and my hand-written mark ups get further and further from being transferred over.
On the one hand? The writing is turning out for the better because of the slow going. I got an unexpected text from my editor seeing a sample of my edits and said my work improved “8 fold” — that’s a big deal. So, in the long run, this is for the best for the readers and my novel–in the short run, I’m ripping my hair out because I lack patience and this is taking for–e–ver.
To top it all off? Somewhere lingering with about 100 pages of mark-ups left (out of 300)–I went: “My first chapter is weak and it needs fixing–it doesn’t even match the format of the rest of the book! Oh, ouch, the characterizations are horrible, too! He’d never say that… Why don’t I have many edits here…oh yes. It’s not even remotely salvageable and I just kept putting it off”
. So, last night I scrapped 80% of the first chapter of Children of Hephaestus and rewrote–I plan to edit what I re-wrote today. (It is soooo much better now. What on earth was I thinking before, am I right?)
The point of this entire post is that I’m still editing about two days after my original deadline (two weeks if we’re counting that original December 31st deadline), and I’ve learned to start adding about two weeks to when I think I’m going to be done as a buffer before I tell my editor when she’s getting something.
You know, like the rest of the known world when they’re setting deadlines. :D