Please welcome author Robert Downs to my blog. Robert is the author of thriller “The Convenient Escape”, and he’s here to talk about his editing process today. I’ll leave the word to Robert now.
MY EDITING PROCESS
My editing process begins after the first draft. Before the time of my first edits, my goal is to write as fast as I can and keep my inner-editor at bay. It’s not always as easy it sounds, because that inner-critic likes to rear his ugly little head, and during that first draft, I go through periods of euphoria along with other times where I believe that what I’m writing is a big pile of crap. But the secret is to push the inner-critic down, focus on the positives, and keep on writing. Knowing that I have finished other novels certainly helps, but I wouldn’t say it makes the process any easier, because each novel is different, and creativity is a phenomenon I still don’t completely understand.
Once I have that first draft completed, I let it sit for a period of weeks or months to gain a certain distance and help change my perspective. The time away allows me to remove my creative hat and put on my editor cap. During this time, I’ve found that writing or editing another manuscript helps me pass the time and keeps my writing or my editing skills fresh. My first editing pass is with a hardcopy and either a red or blue pen, so the changes I make easily stand out against the black font. I hack away at my manuscript as much as necessary, often cutting paragraphs, pages, or even entire scenes. During this process, and sometimes not until I complete it, I often find that I have holes in my manuscript that I need to fill. So while I’m hacking away, I’m also looking for places to add description, internal monologue, and dialogue and action tags.
Once I have this pass completed, I’ll input the changes into my computer, and I often find that there are more deletions or additions I need to make. Sometimes I make the additions in my computer, but often it’s marking the places where I believe I can beef it up, and I mark these places with an ampersand, so I can expand upon them later.
Once my manuscript is more streamlined, the addition begins, and I’m adding characters or description or scenes or even chapters, as the manuscript and situation warrant. I’ll do as many passes as I need, and this varies from manuscript to manuscript alternating between editing the hardcopy and what’s on my computer. I’ve found that I don’t always catch the same things on my hardcopy that I do on my computer, so alternating between the two helps aid whatever project I’m currently working on. Boiling this process down in the simplest of terms, the editing process is subtraction followed by addition. This process doesn’t work for everyone, but I do know it works rather well for me.
When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reading, reviewing, blogging, or smiling. THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE is his fourth novel. To find out more about the author, please visit his website or Facebook Page.
About the Book
Title: The Convenient Escape
Author: Robert Downs
To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her.
Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.
But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won’t last…
Robert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. To find out more about what’s next on his list, visit the author’s website: http://www.RobertDowns.net.
When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. Falling Immortality and Graceful Immortality helped him discover his true love: hard-boiled mysteries. LaCour’s Destiny helped him enter the mind of a female amateur sleuth with OCD tendencies. His fourth and fifth novels will come out this year with Black Opal Books.