Saturday, 8 December 2012

Where Does Basic Editing End and Personal Preference Begin?



Today I had to write a fifty word biography about myself. It isn’t very many words, but it’s important and I wanted to get it right. 

Fifty words – it couldn’t be that hard, right?

Wrong. 

I spent a long time working on it. After a lot of drafts, I finally decided to get a friend to look at it, and we discussed it for a long time. She had some good suggestions, and I appreciated her feedback a lot, but I started to think about my title question. 

At one point she told me how she personally would phrase the biography. But how she would phrase it didn’t fit with me. It didn’t feel right. Basically, it was hard for me to determine whether that was simply because I was being stubborn and didn’t want to change my work, or whether it was merely a case of different writing styles.

I think this may be one of the hardest things about helping to edit somebody else’s work. What sounds right to you might not sound right to somebody else. How do you stop yourself from overstepping? Is there a line you cannot cross? 

It’s a tricky issue, and perhaps it’s something that can only be determined through practice. The main thing is not to effectively rewrite somebody’s work. However, that might be easier said than done. It’s an interesting issue to think about. 

What do you think about editing other people’s work? What would you have done, if you had been in my shoes?

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A final sidenote: I logged into Blogger today and found I had 2000 views. I know it might not seem like much, but I'm very thankful to everybody who follows Between The Grey, who comments and visits. I appreciate every single one of you! 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

December Already?!



I’m not quite sure where 2012 went. It’s been a busy, chaotic year for me, and a lot has changed in such a short space of time. Soon it will be Christmas and New Year. Does anybody else find that incredibly strange and disorientating?

I haven’t achieved as much as I know I could have this year. 

I finished my short story collection, which totals in at near 60,000 words. It’s yet to be edited fully, but I’d love to get back to it and start working on it again. 

I also have Erase, which I would absolutely love to finish before 2013 hits, but I’m not sure that will happen. It would be fantastic if I did manage to complete it. 

I think next year needs to be an editing year for me. I haven’t done much – or rather any – at all this year, and I learned so much the last time I sat down to really edit my work. It’s something I need to focus on, and I think my work will be better for it. Plus seeing as I want to become an editor in the publishing industry, it’s an aspect which I should probably work on . . .

However, I’m getting way ahead of myself. There is still much of December to go, and who knows how much could change in a month? 

So, here’s what I’d love to know: what have you achieved this year? Are you happy with what you’ve done, and are you looking forward to 2013?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

NaNo Final Stats and Pandemonium Review



Firstly I want to thank everybody who commented on my previous post for the support. It means a lot, and I’m really happy to say that I managed to get some more writing done on Erase before NaNo ended.

So, here are my final stats. Since beginning NaNo, I have managed nearly 13,000 words on Erase, and my current word count is 53,187. Considering it was 40,000 when I started, along with my massive two/three week gap, I’m happy with that total. It’s taken me quite a few chapters (too many, I think . . .) to get to the final climax. But I’m close! The home straight it looming somewhere on the horizon - all I have to do is find it.

I think I am going to go through with my original intentions in regards to my character situation, as yesterday I made a great plot twist which seems to coincide with it. Perhaps I’ll change my mind before I get to that point. But however it turns out, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted. 

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Now, onto Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (disclaimer: this will feature spoilers). I’ve been meaning to read this book since it came out last November. But a month ago I finally got around to ordering it on Amazon, and I finished it yesterday and a wonderful three hour stint, something which I haven’t done in too long a time. 

To be honest, I think Delirium is better than Pandemonium. It’s that typical situation with a second book in a trilogy, where it can’t help but be somewhat filler-like as the real climax begins to build for the third book. That isn’t to say that Pandemonium doesn’t have its own unique arc, because it did. However, it didn’t blow me away like Delirium did.

There were many reasons for this. Firstly, Delirium kept me on my toes. There were shocking plot twists, things I didn’t even expect – it kept me hooked. Yet I found myself guessing a lot with Pandemonium, and I think most, if not all, of my guesses about the future plot were correct. The twists were predictable. Whilst that isn’t necessarily bad, it simply meant that there wasn’t the big impact which Delirium had on me. 

I had problems with the beginning. It took me a while to get into Pandemonium; I picked it up and put it down at least two or three times before I really got stuck into it last night. It didn’t pull me straight in. Though this isn’t too big an issue – the majority of readers will have read Delirium and choose to stick with it after all – for new readers I imagine this would be a bit of a turn off. 

I did grow to love the then/now dichotomy within the book. In the climax you could really begin to appreciate it, since it transported you from one epic event to the other, which was a nice way to break tension in some respects. 

I enjoyed the introduction of Julian too. His characterisation was good, and he seemed a suitable alternative to Alex, though I spent most of the book expecting him to return, as he dutifully did at the end. I can see how things will get complex in the next book. Lena is not the same Lena that Alex knew, nor is Alex the same Alex that Lena knew. Both have changed, quite irrevocably in fact. Obviously Julian’s position in this triangle is left for debate too – it will be interesting to see who Lena eventually chooses for herself.

I still like Lena as a character. There wasn’t any point where I felt particularly apathetic or irritated with her. She is a good protagonist, strong, independent, all the things I love in a main character. 

Overall, I did like the novel. It kept me gripped for hours, and it was an enjoyable read. Of course I’ll read the third book. But if I were to compare Delirium and Pandemonium, it’s Delirium which would win with me, every time. But Oliver has done a respectable job, and I look forward to the next book in this wonderful series!

Have you read Pandemonium? What did you think of it if you have?