Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

Global editing ... what in the world is it?

Freelance editing begins here: work local, think Global

This is editing (freelance or otherwise) on its most 'gross' scale, where the grammar and punctuation don't matter, and the storyline itself is under the magnifying glass. Global editing also verifies the integrity of the plot: events have to follow in a logical order. If a character who was killed in Chapter Five shows up again in Chapter Twelve, there had better be a good reason! At this level, continuity is also addressed: a character who was Californian when introduced can't be from New York eight chapters later. A blond(e) should stay blond(e), unless a 'new do' is part of the plot. At this level of freelance editing, you can also check to make sure there's a good balance between dialog and narrative, with enough of each and not too much of either. And so on.
Global editing is the first stage in the process. Most writers do it 'on the fly,' and there's a way to make it dead easy, even if you're not a 'natural' at this.

If you've never done this before ... if the book is 1,000 pages long and you lose track of the details ... if you're writing a series of books ... if you have a memory like a sieve ... if months go by between opportunities to write, and you just forget stuff, global editing can be a hassle. It still has to be done, but there's a cast-iron way to get around it. It's simply this:

Get a pack of cardex file cards and a pen. Read through your story. Write down every proper noun -- character and place names; make a note of the relationships between characters; the physical appearance of the characters, plus any special characteristics. Does someone lisp or limp, or have a scar? Is someone crazy for a specific reason? Give each character his/her own card ... and organize them alphabetically. Six months from now, pull Rhett Sinclaire's card, and jog your memory:

Rhett Sinclaire: has a Chinese grandmother, bleaches his hair, talks with a Chicago accent, is phobic about spiders and allergic to cats, but loves dogs and rides horses like a pro, he was married to Janet, two kids, Marina, 10 and Shaun, 8; divorced 5 years ago when Janet couldn't stand his job any longer; has custody of the kids every second weekend; his dogs are Biff the Beagle and Bozo the schnauzer; lives in a 30-y-o ranch house in the San Fernando Valley; worked for Eagle River Security, 6 years; has been an insurance investigator for IUA for 8 years. Loves the job; loves German beer and Chinese food; hates punk rock music...

A lot of writers can carry that lot in their heads, and do it for 40 characters in a giant novel, but there's no law that says you have to carry it all in memory. Cardex file cards are cheap, and they work!

Finding a fresh spin for old material, and being able to see when the spin either has not been done yet, or was not done well, is one part of the editing process. In fact, it's the first part. Global editing, also known as story editing.

Turn page to The Global Edit... writing and editing working in tandem

No comments:

Post a Comment

The commercial break ... there has to be a commercial break!