Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ripping It Apart!

In most any DIY project, mistakes are made. You step back, look closely and realize that you missed something or overdid something or something just isn't right. And in that moment, people (!) take one of three approaches -- they look away and continue DIY-ing, they go back and try to fix it or they rip it out and start over. 

I've been crocheting and sewing since I was a girl and I've had teachers of both taking different approaches. Some were flexible -- oh, that's not too bad, just do ___ to compensate). Some were rigid -- that's wrong, take it/rip it/pull it out. Some were more critical - and not in a bad way. They could assess how the mistake or misstep would affect the overall finished project and recommend which path to take whether to rip or to ignore or a mix of both.

And I grumbled and complained my way through it all! But I learned as I went. . . or so I thought! Fast-forward from sewing and crocheting to now - writing.....

Over the 34 books I've written and are working with almost a dozen different editors at 5 publishers, each of my editors has taken a different approach to the writing version of rip/pull, ignore or that mix - revisions. Now, I'd love to tell you that I am the bestest writer you've ever read, but sadly, that is not the situation. And, from what I can tell about the publishing and writing industry, there just aren't any? many? authors who don't need to revise their work at some point. 

Some editors love to pull things apart - to move scenes, reimagine characters and plot, to tear it all apart and piece it back together in a completely different way. Some delicately apply their skills, creating a new thing out of the old with a light touch. Some do both, depending on the story and the writer. 

And I've worked with them all! And yes, it's painful. And yes, I complain. 

But, it's a critical part of the process of a writer putting their words and story into a readable form. An editor cleans things up. A good editor picks up on errors and issues. A great editor clarifies the writer's vision of their story and helps mold it into a great book. 

Right now, I'm in the middle of revising not one, but TWO different manuscripts with two different editors from two different publishers and I'm writhing in pain! LOL! 

BUT - I know it will all work out. I know the finished projects AKA the books coming out next Spring will be stronger and better for the pain. I know I'm learning more about my strengths and weaknesses as a writer in working with great editors.

So, how about you? What's your latest DIY project? Do you rip it out when you've made a mistake in your DIY projects? Do you ignore it and move on, hoping for the best? C'mon - be honest - we're all friends here! 

Terri's next book, RISING FIRE, will be the first book in her new WARRIORS OF DESTINY series from NAL/Signet in March 2015! Visit her website or her FB profile or page for lots more info about everything! 

***Terri's winner is Luanna Stewart!  Please email with your mailing details!***


Laney4 said...

When I am scrapbooking, I try to mask what I feel are my imperfections by layering on top or changing my design process to accommodate the imperfection. If all else fails, I start my page over again.

Luanna Stewart said...

When I make an error in my knitting, I analyze the impact of said error on the finished project. If it's something simple, like a stitch increase leaning to the right instead of to the left, I'll leave it. And I'm sure I'm the only one who would ever notice. But if I twist a bit of the cable pattern the wrong way, something that EVERYONE will notice and point at and snicker about, then I'll rip out my work til I get to the error and fix it, whilst mumbling expletives.

Hitting the delete key is so much easier, but no less painful.

Terri Brisbin said...

Laney4 - I've never tried scrapbooking...but I love your comment about layering.... Writers work with layers, too!

Terri Brisbin said...

Luanna - absolutely agree about that delete key! I think taking apart something you've created is just always hard and painful...even if it's 'just' deleting words...!

Mary Preston said...

With my craft work I do both. I pull things out & start again or I plough ahead & hope the booboo will not be too noticeable. I am appliquéing some bunting right now. I am planning & taking my time because mistakes will be noticeable & I do NOT want to have to start again.