Thoughtful Thursday: What the Edit?

Soooooo, I've been a little addicted to Twitter lately... so much so that I literally almost typed a hashtag in front of the word "Twitter" just now...

*back to the keyboard*
*click click clickety click*
Alas, I was not picked for The Writers Voice contest (almost did a hashtag again), but I don't mind. I had SO much fun following along, and I learned a lot in the process. I've made some amazing new writer friends - HILARIOUS new writer friends. I'm so glad I jumped in rather than sat out... like I was going to.

In retrospect, I'm actually very grateful I wasn't chosen. After entering, (like, the same day) I realized that the MS I had was not my best work - I could do better. So I immediately started re-writing.

I didn't start from scratch. I kept a copy of the full manuscript intact for reference, then pasted the whole thing into a new doc and went at it. I didn't end up changing POV's... though that was a toughie.... I think I'm nearly halfway through. It's kind of hard to tell because I keep cutting big sections, and later I'll add in little bits here and there as I re-arrange things.

So far, I feel like the flow is much better, and the pacing is better too. Plus I've thought of a much better ending than the one I had. Other than that, I'm trying to cut out everything that isn't absolutely necessary to the story. Then when I'm done I'll go through and add back in bits of character development, setting, and things like that.

Since this is my first manuscript, I'm still kind of playing with the whole "revision/edit/feedback" thing to figure out what works best for me. I really want to get this MS finished and cleaned up by the end of May so that I can start querying.

And while I'm querying, I'll begin my next MS...

which will be.....

I haven't picked yet :-/

Gah! I'm so indecisive. Good thing I wasn't a judge for The Writer's Voice... Part of me wishes I knew where the market trends were going so I could write toward them... but alas, there's really no telling. Everyone says, "write what you love," but that doesn't help when I have SIX possibilities, and I LOVE them all.

What works best for you when writing and editing? Do you outline and leave room for stretching? Or do you write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Do you have beta readers/critique partners? Or do you trust your own guts?

I'm still learning...


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