Wonder Boi Writes

Edits Take 3

Take? Did I really just say use the word “take” in the title of this post?  Oh no, now I’ve said it three times, and Shelley will take those all out.  Whoops, I said “take” again, and there I did it again, that makes 6.  Time to edit, let me take (7) another shot at it.

Edits – Round Three

There you go.  That’s a look at my last week of editing.  I finished my third pass of edits on The Long Way Home yesterday.  This pass through the manuscript was down to the nitty-gritty (oh man, is that a cliché?) of word choice and repetition. For instance, in the 198-page manuscript, I’d used the words “take” and “took” almost 200 times without noticing it.  It’s an easy word to fall back on. It’s only natural that it gets used frequently, but once a page is too much, so I had to work on replacing about half of those instances with more descriptive terms.

“Raine took the job” becomes “Raine accepted the job” and  “Beth took her seat” becomes “Beth flopped into the chair.”

I also used the word “ache” over ten times.  Ache is not a common word, but it’s angst-ridden and dramatic. It shouldn’t be used too often because it’s very noticeable and would get repetitive a lot faster than a common verb.  So

“Beth ached to hold Rory” become “Beth longed to have Rory in her arms” since I hadn’t used “longed” at all.

As you can see, this is really gripping stuff. Bet you didn’t know we counted the number of times we use various words.  The whole thing feels tremendously tedious at times, especially when I just want to be writing, but ultimately I want to give you all with the best book possible, and if that means weeding through 200 uses of the word “take”/”took,” then that’s what I’ll do.

We should have one more minor pass through for format and word checks that shouldn’t really contain much of anything before it’s sent off for the copy edits, but that’s fodder for another blog.

In the meantime, I plan to make the most of my free weekend to play with a new set of characters for a “new romance.”

What about you?  What are you working for this weekend?


January 22, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Hey Rachel,

    glad you are spending your weekend with new characters.
    This weekend I hope to be getting over my block, spent the last week thinking, re thinking and thhinking yet again, very tired now lol. I have decided to add another character to the story, not a very nice one, but I feel his connection with one of the main characters will make for a better book, she says with hope in her heart.
    Hope you and the family have a lovely weekend and the pizza is going down well still xx

    Comment by kerry mcnair | January 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Good Lucky Kerry! That kind of planning and re thinking is one of the hardest parts of the job.

      Comment by rachelspangler | January 22, 2010 | Reply

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