Today I’ve decided to focus on finishing my feeble editing attempts on Chapter 8 of my novel. I am going to get it posted before I go to bed tonight. That’s my promise to myself that all of you get to hold me to.
The thing is I’m a pretty good editor when it comes to other peoples work. I do it at work all the time. Yet, when it comes to my own work, I, well, I think I’m kind of a crappy parent. I’m so elated and proud of my writing getting all creative and playful, that I blindly overlook all the naughty things it does in the process, like inconsistent, confusing, and WTF punctuation, and awkwardly or obviously redundant paragraphs. Editors are the world’s equivalent of the strict parent. They make sure your kids eat their broccoli, which is good because they need it, and so does my writing.
Although I am getting better at self editing, I’ve noticed that I produce a series of sounds and phrases that have their own editing definitions while I’m editing my work. Here are a few of them that come to mind:
- The hell? – This is usually said while as my eyes start to squint and my head tilts to the left. It’s the result of realizing that a specific sentence or phrase I am looking at is completely wrong. …See there are times when writing that I’m trying to get out what my brain it thinking about as fast as I can. I commonly miss a few words or if I’m lucky I only type a few minor words out of order. Then there are times when my only option is to kill the whole paragraph and start over because I have no bloody clue what the hell I was trying to say, which happens more than I’d like to admit.
- Wha… bu… tha… phuhh… – This is usually the collection of sounds I make after my “The hell?” statement. These sounds usually begin as I attempt to decipher what I was thinking while I was writing the sentence in question. Sometimes I revert to poorly edited profanity during this phase as well. Things like, “Piece of sh…”, “Son of a bi…”, “Rat bas…”, “Mother fu…”, and then I finish it all of with, “Dang.” It doesn’t help my editing any, but it always improves my mood.
- Oh! – This is what comes out when I figure out what it was I was actually trying to say, or decipher which words are out of order or misspelled as other words that the spell check did not mark and incorrect words.
- Uhh – This is usually a subtle auditory sound said under my breath. My fear is that if I say it too loud I’ll end up distracting myself as my brain attempts to process some rewording that will make a little more sense, or at the very least make the sentence cleaner.
- Ahh – This is usually a louder sigh of relief. It’s my triumph noise, which I make when I fix a problem or catch a simple edit error and fixed it. It’s sort of my own editing ohm.
- God I need an editor – This is usually my wrap up phrase as I finish editing my work. It’s the signifier that I have made it through my editing process and verbally proclaim to myself the obvious truth. Who knows, maybe it’s a subconscious proclamation to the universe to please send me some superhero whose secret power is the love of editing and they just happen to have a desire to be my personal editing Alfred… yeah, something like that.
Well there you have it, have them, some anyway… that’s a few of my editing lingos… lingai?… lingus… there’s some of the noises I make and things I say while editing my writing. I mean sure, I could keep going, but I’ve set a goal for today. It’s time to take another look at my book get making those noises instead of writing about them.
Do you have you own lingo for when your working on something and no one else is around?
Google Images, key word: book editing.