13 July 2017 @ 03:30 pm
Editing Multiple Chapter Fics  
Hey Best Bar!

A while back I got some really great advice on how overcome the over-editing monster. I have a follow up question to that point. When do you guys edit multiple chapter fics? At the end of each chapter or at the very end of the story? I took a leap and entered into this years Marvelbigbang. I'm doing pretty good at not editing while actively writing. But I'm close to being finished with chapter one hence the question. Personally I feel that if I wait until the end of the novella I'll be too far removed from chapter one. Anyway, I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Thanks all!
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Sugar_Fey: dreaming mermaid[personal profile] sugar_fey on July 13th, 2017 10:10 pm (UTC)
Great question! I think everyone works slightly differently, so it's about finding what works best for you. I haven't written many multichapters, but when I did I would edit at the end of each chapter. I tend to be a bit all over the place with my editing and writing, I'll sometimes leave a scene if I'm having trouble with it and then come back and finish it later, or refine/edit scenes out of order.
[personal profile] mitchpell on July 14th, 2017 01:19 pm (UTC)
I've never attempted to write out of order. But I can see where that would be helpful. A lot of times a story I have running through my head revolves around some key scenes but I never end up writing them because they are in the middle and I lose inspiration before I ever get there. So I might give that a try.

I think as far as editing goes, I'm going to try some minor editing at the end of the chapter but leave the major stuff for the end.

Thanks for the advice!
catalenamara: Thor[personal profile] catalenamara on July 13th, 2017 10:24 pm (UTC)
I don't write in a linear manner, but start with whatever scene popped into my head that inspired the story and work backwards and forwards from there. Once the entire story is finished I go over it a time or two, then give it to my beta and once I get her input I do at least one more rewrite until I'm satisfied with the result. Quite often something will come up in the last chapter that needs to be justified in the first, so I don't begin posting until I'm satisfied the entire story is ready to go as far as the plot is concerned. (I fix grammar issues chapter by chapter). I've written several novel length pieces this way (50,000 words plus), including one for last year's Big Bang. I'm working on this year's Big Bang piece right now.
For this one, I have already worked out the entire plot of the story so I am working in a semi-linear manner, but rough draft only - i.e., "this happened, that happened, he said this, he felt that". I'm making no attempt at grammar or spelling; just getting the words down. I already have the bones of future scenes written. Once I finish I'll do the various drafts process. I compare my way of writing, once the first draft is done, to making candles by hand - i.e. dipping the wick into the wax multiple times until it's the correct size.

Edited 2017-07-13 10:25 pm (UTC)
[personal profile] mitchpell on July 14th, 2017 01:29 pm (UTC)
You're writing process sounds interesting. I've never attempted to write non-linear. It never even occurred to me that you "could" do it. But I can see where it might help just to get the words down, the scene played out, and see where that leads you. I've plotted out several novel length fics before (I have literally written 10 page outlines but very little if any of the story) but never succeeded in ever finishing one. Maybe trying something non-linear would help me there.

The one I'm attempting for Big Bang is not plotted out except very vaguely. I know the start and I know the end. I have no idea how to get from one to the other. So, non-linear won't help there. But I think I will basically save the major editing towards the end. Since we can't post until the story is finished, not chapter by chapter, I think I'll approach it as one really long single chapter event. That way the over-editing monster can't grab me until the thing is at least bare-bones written.

[identity profile] meatball42.livejournal.com on July 14th, 2017 02:25 am (UTC)
Hahahahaha, 'the end of the story'. That implies that I finish my multi-chaps, hahahahaha.

I edit as I go, or else no editing would take place. 'Editing' is a good excuse to read over my past work in an attempt to finish it.
[personal profile] mitchpell on July 14th, 2017 01:33 pm (UTC)
That has never really worked for me in the past. If I edit as I go I ended up spending 90% of my time editing and 10% writing. It gets bad, to the extent that it takes me an hour to write a five sentence paragraph.

I'm concerned about even doing a chapter by chapter edit. But I can see the value in rereading what I have. So I think I'll do a hybrid. Write an entire chapter with no editing allowed. Allow for a one solid rewrite of the chapter and then move on to the next. Then once the whole thing is done go back and revise the thing as a whole.

Thanks for input!
cassie[personal profile] kiss_me_cassie on July 14th, 2017 02:37 am (UTC)
I have no advice as I seriously have issues with writing fic over 2k so... chapters? What are CHAPTERS?

But GO GO GO GO! I'm excited to see fic from you!
::raises fic poms and cheers you on::
[personal profile] mitchpell on July 14th, 2017 01:34 pm (UTC)
Lol! Thanks! I have to warn you in advance, it takes place in the Daredevil corner of the MCU. Tasha and Clint won't be making an appearance. But hopefully you can still enjoy.
jesterlady[personal profile] jesterlady on July 14th, 2017 03:28 am (UTC)
I start out by editing every chapter every time I sit down to write. So I'll read through everything I've written so far and then write the next section. Obviously the longer you go the more time that takes, so when I get a few chapters in I'll generally read a chapter or two earlier and then write. So my beginning chapters are always way better edited than my end chapters cause I go through them more times. :) But I feel like this helps me keep a better angle on my story and not mess up my own canon. :) I edit the whole thing after I'm done with it, of course, and then usually leave it for a few days and then edit the whole thing again with fresher eyes. Have fun!!!
[personal profile] mitchpell on July 14th, 2017 01:39 pm (UTC)
Oh! I like the idea of letting it sit for a few days. Coming back later can definitely change your perspective. I find this true as a teacher when I'm grading lab reports. I'll definitely give that some consideration.

As someone who is prone to over editing and agonizing over everything I don't think your editing approach would work for me. By the time I finished reworking the earlier chapters there would be no time left to write anything new. I like the idea, but I don't think it will work for me.

Thanks for the advice.
jesterlady: jesterlady[personal profile] jesterlady on July 15th, 2017 02:19 am (UTC)
No worries, everyone's got to come up with their own style and way of doing things. :0

Glad that leaving it for a few days might help you though!
franztastisch: northern lights[personal profile] franztastisch on July 14th, 2017 06:28 am (UTC)
I edit chapters just before I post them, which is sometimes months after I write them. I find that really useful because often by that time I have forgotten the little things that I was having trouble with and can look at the whole thing with fresh eyes. It also means I've forgotten bits I was initially very attached to as well. I just find the break incredibly helpful at gaining perspective. But I also have a beta which helps enormously too and I do very few big edits. But even so, those times I did, the breaks helped to identify problems.

But yeah, everyone's different. And not everyone is as slow as me. :P
[personal profile] mitchpell on July 14th, 2017 01:44 pm (UTC)
Definitely like the idea of letting it sit for a while. I think it could definitely help to look at it with fresh eyes. I don't mind being slow as long as I finish. My biggest problem was spending so much time editing and agonizing as I was wetting I would burn myself out and never finish.

So I think I'll write a chapter, do one semi-major edit, move on until the whole thing is done, do an entire revision, let it sit a while, rework it again, send it to beta, rewrite, let it sit, give it one last look, and post. Sounds like a lot. But at least it's a plan

Thanks for the help!
franztastisch[personal profile] franztastisch on July 20th, 2017 10:39 am (UTC)
Hey, I'm glad to have helped! Though you edit way more than I do. I worry that I'll tinker with stuff forever and just never post it if I edit it more than twice. :P
alphaflyer[personal profile] alphaflyer on July 14th, 2017 08:54 pm (UTC)
My name is Alpha Flyer, and I over-edit... I edit to get back into a piece after it has sat for a while and I edit to procrastinate from actually writing. But mostly I edit because I want things to be perfect... UGH.

But seriously, like some others here I often start with a scene that was in my head, and then write around it. One 52k word story I wrote the opening and final scenes first (they changed very little) and then figured out a way to get from A to Z... For multi-chapters it's pretty much essential to go over the whole thing once you've written it to ensure continuity, because who can keep every little detail in their head? (I've had a Vulcan inadvertently change gender halfway through a story that had sat for too long...) For the syntax edits it really helps to let a couple of days pass before final edits, so you see the sentence as other readers might, rather than as the one you THINK you wrote. (That approach also helps me trim out extraneous phrases that sounded cute at the time!)
sgteam14283: Clint and Tasha[personal profile] sgteam14283 on July 15th, 2017 10:47 pm (UTC)
But mostly I edit because I want things to be perfect... UGH.

SAME. (or I know what needs to happen but don't want to write it because it's hurts characters I love lol)
sgteam14283: Clint and Tasha[personal profile] sgteam14283 on July 15th, 2017 03:55 am (UTC)
I try to wait until the end of the chapter to edit, but end up editing as I go along. A horrible way to do it, and I'm trying to break myself of it, but sometimes it helps to get it right and then polish it up as needed.
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