Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

My New Guest Blog Is Up at Chris Nuttall’s Blog

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Folks, I am happy to report that Chris Nuttall accepted a guest blog from me about editing. I called it “Adventures in Editing: Going over A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, 12 Years Later.”And it’s up now over at Chris’s busy blog, the Chrishanger.

Why did I write this, exactly? Well, back in May, I wrote about the struggles I had in going over my final edit of A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE. I ended up adding some scenes, pruning back others…I actually did more than my editor asked for in certain respects, because I felt my book deserved more.

And because ELFY was originally one book, I needed to write a brand-new first chapter, too, plus I added a “What Has Gone Before.”

I didn’t talk about all of that at Chris’s blog, mind. I thought his readership might be more interested in why I did what I did, and what the difference is between what I call a full-on edit (otherwise known as a full line-edit plus a conceptual edit plus a consistency read) and editorial changes.

Here’s a bit of that blog where I discuss exactly what the differences are between a full-on edit and editorial changes:

When you are dealing with editorial changes, you move more quickly through your manuscript – at least, I do – and you aren’t as concerned with the intrinsic wholeness. You have to believe in your editor, and trust that he or she knows your writing well enough that you won’t be steered off-course…and you have to trust that you will make the right changes in the right ways.

But in a full-on edit, you are looking at everything. Word choice, even if no one else has mentioned it. Whether you should add something at the beginning, because you now have two books where you once had only one. Whether you need additional scenes to clarify things, and if so, what?

And when you’re done with your edit, you go back and make whatever changes are necessary.

In other words, I analyzed my manuscript as if it were written by someone else. I saw where it had weaknesses, as well as strengths. I tried to shore up those weaknesses. And I looked for ways to be consistent, without messing with my earlier style whatsoever – as, over time, I’ve become a slightly different writer.

In addition, I added a short and funny excerpt from Chapter 2, which is a scene I decided to add after I was done with my final edit. (The only place this excerpt appears besides Chris’s blog is at the Twilight Times Books site in my sample chapters; this is at the beginning of chapter 2.)

But that’s not the only reason to read my newest guest blog,

Please do go and take a look at this guest blog, as I put in four tips at self-editing that may help you out a little.

And while I believe every writer needs an editor besides himself/herself, you can help your editor out a great deal if you at least try to go back over your manuscript and attempt to read it as if it were written by someone else.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

November 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

One Response

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  1. […] you know from the previous blog, Chris put up the guest blog I sent him an hour […]


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