image: header

image: inkwell header

Welcome to The Inkwell, the blog site of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) of Colorado.

Each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find a wide variety of topics and insight
from inspiration to instruction to humor and more!

For detailed information on ACFW, click here to visit their main website.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Write, Research, Write, Edit, Write, Revise...and Edit Again

Some days it feels like a never-ending cycle or an insurmountable task. You might even feel like your book and the task is 10x larger than you. And for most authors or writers, this is true.

I recently was chatting with some ladies in my Bible study group about my writing process. One of them asked how I keep it all straight when I'm working on a series where characters re-appear from book to book, or where facts and details must remain the same from book to book.

That's a good question. I chuckled and said, I don't. :)

All right, so actually, I do. I maintain spreadsheets and documents on my computer with all those agonizing details I painstakingly researched and compiled before I ever typed out the first word of my book. As I'm writing, I refer back to them whenever necessary.

And when all else fails, there's always my editor!

She's caught rather embarrassing things like character names that changed from book to book or even the names of a town that was featured in the first book, then changed in book 3. *blushes*

Let me tell you, it's hard enough when your manuscript comes back looking like it was engaged in a fight with a ketchup bottle and lost. It's worse when some of the edits are simple and obvious facts that were just missed.

But situations like that keep us humble, right? I mean, no one's perfect. And every book that's written is a result of a collaboration between the writer, the critique partners, the editors and the readers. No author is an island. So, it's wise to establish a strong team of individuals you trust to help you when the revisions phase is upon you.

Me personally? I LOVE revisions and editing. I do!

Because it's the chance I have to strengthen my story, develop my characters, add a plot line, and make the story truly shine. Is it fun? Depends on your perspective. There are days when I get stressed and want to pull out my hair. But overall, I enjoy that stage more than the actual writing, but each stage has its ups and downs.

Also, it takes time and patience to self-edit your work, so don't rush through it. And don't fall in love with your fiction story. Look at your work honestly so that you can find any problems and fix them.

Now, it's YOUR turn. What are some tricks YOU use when editing your work? Writers are always looking for new ways to make this process easier. So, I'd love to hear what YOU do. Just never know when a tip you have might help someone else find success.

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since she was a child. Today, she is an author, online marketing specialist and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart. They have 1 daughter and a border collie. She has sold eight books so far to Barbour Publishing, is a columnist for the ACFW e-zine and writes other articles as well. Read more about her at her web site:


Donna Schlachter said...

If the story was worth writing the first time, it's worth re-writing again and again until it's the best you can do. I have often heard other authors say they wished they'd spent more time on revisions. I've never heard anyone say they wished they'd spent less time. What you write may end up in print for years to come. Make it your best.

Tina Pinson said...

Embellishing stories huh, Tiff,

Sounds alot like myself. I tell people I got started writing simply because I can tell a story and not get in trouble.

I like revising, making the story flow better. I'm not overly thrilled about cutting words and scenes but I'm getting better.

Copyright ACFW Colorado | Layout and Graphic Design Eagle Designs