How I Edit: Part Two

How I Edit Part Two

Editing. You either love it or hate it, but either way, it has to be done. Tackling edits on an entire novel can be overwhelming, so thought I’d lay out how I approach them in hopes the ideas will help you.

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How I Edit: Part One

How I Edit Part One

Editing is kind of a big deal. It’s what sets the stories I take seriously apart from the ‘just for fun’ stories.

However, the first time I sat down to edit a draft, I drew a blank. I had the words on the page and I had a general idea of what I wanted my story to look like, but I had no idea how to make those the same thing.

If you’re in the same boat right now (or will be soon), here’s what I’ve figured out for editing, based on advice I’ve heard and a bit of trial-and-error.

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4 Things I Need When Plotting a Book

4 Things I Need When Plotting a Book

I don’t know about you, but plotting is probably my favorite part of writing a novel. That’s when I get to be creative. I figure out what makes my characters tick, how scenes that have been brewing in my head fit together, and what type of conflict will drive the story.

Of course, I end up fixing my outline later on, and usually end up clarifying and adding onto the ideas, but this part is when I intentionally set everything else aside and just try to create a story.

I’m actually in the process of plotting out a new book right now, and I’m super excited about it. Because I like this part so much, I try to have everything just right to maximize my enjoyment. Here are the 5 things I realized that I need when I’m plotting a book.

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Good Omens: The Humor in the Details

Good Omens The Humor in the Details

Good Omens is my summer fling. I read and watched it within a couple weeks, and still enjoy scrolling through its memes during my lunch breaks.

Good Omens is awesome because it’s so full of humor. From the line “Get thee behind me, foul fiend… after you,” to the way Hastur screamed as Ligur disintegrated, the tiny moments are what make the show worthwhile. Sure, the premise is funny, and it would still be ‘good’ if it just told the story. But there is so much comedy gold in the specific details, and that’s what really makes the story come alive.

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Jessica Jones Season 3: What Medium is Best for a Story?

Jessica Jones Season 3 What Medium is best for a story

I have a confession to make: I struggled to get through Jessica Jones season 3. Season 1 was one of my favorite series ever (I even wrote two blog posts on it: about personal responsibility and themes in general). Season 2 was enjoyable to watch, but it didn’t live up to the first. And season 3? It did not hold my attention.

This got me wondering: were the second two seasons worth telling? Well, it’s a tv show. That’s what tv shows do. They continually come up with new problems to solve. But is Jessica’s story best told as a serialized tv show? Once she beat Killgrave, it felt like her story was over. We now know she’s going to keep fighting bad guys. While watching her prove that is entertaining, it doesn’t feel necessary. Jessica’s story didn’t need to be told as a continuing tv show.

Spoilers ahead.

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Using the 5 Love Languages to Write Compelling Relationships

Using the 5 Love Languages to Write Compelling Relationships

A friend and I once spent two hours taking this love language test. If you go to it, you’ll see that it should not take two hours to complete, but sometimes life goes like that.

The five love languages are the five different ways you like to express and receive love, whether through actions, or words, or something else. People prefer one or two types of love languages to the others. They aren’t inherently romantic, either. They apply just as well to friendships, or family relationships, or other things.

Part of the reason the quiz took so long for us is that we got to talking about what makes us ship characters, and that made me realize how much our particular love language makes us enjoy a reading or watching a relationship, and made me wonder how it could influence our writing.

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Dear Evan Hansen: Side Characters and Representation

Dear Evan Hansen Side Characters and Representation

I recently got to see the musical Dear Evan Hansen, which was pretty cool. I didn’t know much about it (I’d listened to most of the soundtrack once, but that was it), so it was fun to watch the story unfold. There was a lot about it that I really enjoyed, but one thing in particular stood out to me from a storytelling aspect.

Much of the musical deals with loneliness, depression, and suicide, and many of the characters feel like no one would notice if they disappear. There can be lots of stereotypes around these topics, which makes it easy to generalize about complex issues. Dear Evan Hansen avoids stereotyping by portraying different characters dealing with the same issue in different ways. This happens most notably with Alana, a side character.

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Avengers Endgame: The Importance of Choice

Avengers Endgame the Importance of Choice

Part of the journey is the end

After drying my tears (and boy, there were tears), I realized why Avengers 4: Endgame was deeply satisfying. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that this is the last we’ll see some characters. But it was still a great movie, because for each of their departures, the characters deliberately made a choice to leave.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

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