Sunday, January 13, 2013

Reading, and Reading Some More...

Reading, reading and more reading right alongside with writing, writing and more writing.

It's a never ending cycle, the writing process. I'm one of these people who, after writing a few paragraphs (and to give the fingers a little rest), I read back what I've written. This way, I find, I can keep the momentum going and things stay fresh in my mind. It also allows me to see the utter crap I've just written, not to mention some brilliant stuff.

But never mind the initial read-as-you-go whilst hacking out prose. It's the reading after you've completed your manuscript. Not the self-edit stage, but the part where you're finished but still have the raw bones to the story. I must read through my manuscripts several times, in full. I know, it may sound a bit excessive, but you know what they say: "It's never ready."

The first few times, it allows me to expand the story, fill out the skinny bits and cut out the excess fat or even rewrite entire chapters. When the story is pretty much fattened up and complete, the next read is just to catch the mistakes, the spelling and grammatical errors--and maybe add in some more things. Then I put it down and do other things, like, say, read a book. By the time I'm ready to come back to it, I read it again as if it were a brand new book and then scream! It's unbelievable what a short break will do to your eyesight. So many mistakes and spelling errors! At this stage, it’s usually where I bring out the fine-toothed comb and start attacking the tangled mess carefully. Once done, I read through again, just to make sure I got it the way I want it. And still I find many things wrong with it.

And all this is before I’ve even had it beta read. But that’s a whole other story, with more reading involved and more putting it down to come back to it later business.

So, how many of you do this? How many of you have this burning desire to re-read over and over, making sure everything is ‘in place’ and just right?

And let’s not start with when it’s been submitted and the edits come back…yes, more reading.

TK Toppin


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Sounds familiar. I do the same, and still I am not satisfied. Perhaps Shakespeare was equally picky and that's why he's lasted for centuries.