Girl shooting a shotgun riding piggyback. Both people are doused in multiple colors from the Indian festival of Holi

Standford holi festival : water gun fun by tibchris CC 3.0

In the comments of a blog post I read many moons ago, someone casually mentioned that she had written her first novel by hand in a notebook that she carried with her at all times. When she was almost done, someone stole her bag.

In addition to the lesson of always guarding your bag on public transportation, I gained a paranoia that the notebook of Julia, the one that I carry with me everywhere, the one that has all my handwritten edits, will be stolen. In my more dramatic moments, it’s at gun point.

I usually like handwriting edits and typing them into the computer at a later date because that gives me multiple passes at the same passage. If my red penned edit still makes sense a week later, in it goes. If I need to edit my edit, that’s easy enough to do.

However, I may have gone to extremes this time. Over 100 pages of edits is REALLY tedious to type in. Since my paranoia was convinced that someone was going to steal all my pages of work and force me to edit from scratch, I decided to spend last Sunday afternoon entering as much as I could into my computer.

I managed just over 100 pages (couple dozen to go) but for most of that I stopped editing my edits because it was just too much.

Which mean they probably weren’t right. Which means another round of editing…sometime later.

I’d still recommend my process to someone. I’d just emphasis small doses. What about you? Any favorite editing tips you want to share?

2 thoughts on “Paranoia

  1. bethfinke

    Just finished reading “Paris Wife,” a historical fiction-type piece about Hemingway’s first wife. I don’t recommend the book (I prefer reading well-researched biographies over historical fiction) but according to this novel, she lost one of Hemingway’s manuscripts, absent-mindedly left it behind on a train platform. From this book one can surmise that this led to their eventual break-up. Lesson: don’t ever put your husband in charge of your Julia notebook.

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