Tag Archives: Editing

And Then: Learning from your Beta

And then you kneel beside me. "You’re drunk."

"Very observant, Potter." I moan and roll toward you, but I misjudge and fall off the couch and onto the floor. And then I linger on my hands and knees for a moment, giggling as I try not to throw up, and then I feel your hands on me, under my arms.

You succeed only in dragging me to my knees. I wrap my arms around you, around your neck, and then I fall against you heavily, searching for your lips with my own.

"Draco, god," you mutter, and then you push me away and get to your feet. And then I wrap my arms around your hips and press my cheek against the front of your jeans.

"Don’t make me go, Harry," I plead, brushing my lips over the bulge in your jeans. "I’ll do anything."

Your fingers twist in my hair and then pull my head back. "Stop it." But your breath quickens and you don’t step away. "Please, Draco."

My biggest tell in a first draft is my copious use of ‘and then’, often at the beginning of a sentence. Posting the above first draft excerpt is, quite frankly, embarrassing, but it’s the way I write most comfortably.

It was a beta who called attention to this habit of mine. She would go through my fic, pulling me up on instance after instance, chapter after chapter. I think it took me some time to click onto this and actually edit out those ‘and then’ instances myself before she ever saw it. After that I started doing an extra read through of all my stuff just for those ‘and then’s.

Nowadays, I still write with copious instances of ‘and then’ but I do it with the awareness that I’ll take almost all of them out in edits. I don’t  need to do a separate read for them now because I’m very good at spotting them in line edits (in fact, they stick out a mile to me now) but early on that ‘and then’ read either before or after I’d edited for everything else was essential for catching one of my biggest problem habits while writing.

I learned something key from that beta, something I’ll be aware of for the years to come. I’m sure she thanked me for it, too, because she no longer had to correct that very pervasive error in my work.

By learning from your beta, you’ll make their lives a lot easier, and you’ll become a better writer.

I’m sure there’s other stuff I do now that drives my beta batty because she has to correct the same shit over and over again. If she’s reading this, it’s permission for her to kick my ass and tell me to learn from my mistakes, dammit ;)

So. What’s your ‘and then’? Are you aware of it? Or does your beta correct the same mistakes chapter after chapter after chapter?


I think I can, I think I can…

A photo of a cup of coffee.

Insert Random Photo. Zemanta is cool, no?

Since I’m all about the lists and spreadsheets and crossing stuff off said lists lately I thought I should make a wee one of those in regards to all the fanfic stuff I HAVE to do and soon.

And I’m putting it here, cos here is a whole lot prettier more permanent than a torn and coffee stained piece of paper on my desk that will then get lost and/or thrown away :D

  • Yuletwi’d fic to revise/edit/get beta’d (deadline approaches *flail*)
  • Update the Canon/AU Slash List (I have a month long backlog of fics to review)
  • Alec POV SSE outtake that I promised to the reviewers who pushed me over the 500 threshhold
  • Probably should write some more Beautiful Dangerous…

Slowly but surely…

NaNo: Thank god it’s OVER!

Well that was a very different experience from last year. What a balls up! I picked the wrong story, didn’t give a shit about my characters, wrote utter shite…


There is a salvageable story in there, though in no way will it reflect the word count I reached.

So, filing that bastard till…I dunno. February or something.

But I’m left with a bit of a lost feeling. The urge is to write, because that’s what I’ve been doing for so long, but I feel like I need to take a break. I have my yuletwi’d exchange fic drafted already, and I have to revise that, and soon (Dec 20th deadline, and it’s freaking me out). Revision and editing is a whole other thing from writing, so that should be kinda good.

Then, at some stage soon, I have a certain promised Alec POV SSE outtake to complete :D And then I better dive back in to the mindfuck that is Beautiful Dangerous O.O


More fics for Nashville!

I have decided to put a couple more fics in for this compilation. I’ve been sitting on a Jakeward AU one shot for months, convinced that it sucked, but I’ve pulled it out and am gonna sort it.

Also, I have the mostly completed first shot of a multi shot series I’ve been planning, so I’ll finish that first shot and put that in as well. It’s an Edward/Jasper AH, and a little bit outside the box, I think. I’ve been affectionately calling it my Bloodward, but the name of the series will be Beautiful Dangerous. The name of this first shot (or ‘chapter’ if you wanna think of it like that, though I intend for each installment to be kind of a self contained story in itself) is Sweeter.

Check out the Fics for Nashville LJ community to find out how to get your hands on this compilation.

And what have I been writing?

Technically, nothing. Well, that’s the idea anyway. I have a certain birthday one shot to revise and edit.. the pairing is proving challenging for me and if I stare at it too much longer I’m gonna end up hating it again and start from scratch for the third time. That would be bad, it’s already late O.O

And my 25ker–still tentatively working titled as One Fateful Night–that just needs the paper edits transferred to the file and then I can start shifting scenes around. I’ve got a whole non linear thing going on there which adds a whole nother level to the editing process.

AND… I’ve finally got my ass into gear and am rewriting my last years nanowrimo novel, Vital Depth. I wrote it in 3rd person multiple POV, and of course I decided to rewrite in 1st person, which unfortunately does not just entail changing he’s to I’s, oh no. And there is a whole ton of alternate POV’s where somehow I have to get the stuff that happens when my MC isn’t present and relay it to him, so there will be a few extra scenes having to be written.

And I have kinda a short time to get it all done in. I figure if I rewrite 3k per day I might get there on time LOL

And yeah, feed the kids and do the laundry somewhere in there as well O.O

Say Something Else (was One Fateful Night)

Ok so this is my not quite 25k word fic that kinda made necessary this blogging thing. I had it printed out the other day so I can go through it and make sure it makes sense for a start. I think the first half of it is fine, but most of the last half is probably gonna need rewriting. Bleurgh. Not my favourite thing in the world. Oh well, anyway, I’m going through it, one shiny new A4 page at a time, kinda revising and editing at the same time. I know I should concentrate on the bloody plot, which honestly, is a part of writing that I suck most at, but it’s so much fun scrawling all over these pristine pages of text that I just can’t resist.