Macro Editing

Macro Editing.

What it is: A tough task for me 🙂 And the first step in revisions. Involves adjusting your story, plot, character arcs, setting, structure etc. All the BIG stuff.

It’s tough for me because I’m just not confident enough in my own decisions as a writer. Not yet. It’s too early. I simply haven’t done this long enough to be 100% positive about my choices when it comes to my work.

I’m at that stage where I wish I had an editor to tell me what to do. That seems like it could be so much easier since my biggest mountain to tackle at the time is knowing WHAT to change, WHAT to leave alone, WHAT to expand. You get the picture. I don’t know what to do 🙂

BUT…I  will figure it out.

It’s just that macro editing is, well, BIG. I struggle with looking at the big picture. Break it into tiny bites and I’m fine, but 70,000 words? My mind literally freezes with all the ideas it’s trying to download. I told my friend that it would be like someone handing her a book saying, “Make this better.” And I suppose, with another writer’s work, it’s even easier to suggest change because we aren’t blinded by our big ole hearts. With our own work, it’s tough to keep any objectivity because we are so attached.

But… Macro editing is a critical step. It’s the repair of the skeleton that is your novel. If the skeleton is weak or missing, say, an arm and a leg, it doesn’t matter how good you are at line edits, if those words have nothing to cling to, they are limp and lifeless. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned on this journey is that structure cannot be ignored.

So…with that in mind…I’m off to macro edit.

I sound excited, huh?

And thanks to Jody Hedlund for a great post on Macro Editing over on her blog today! Hop over and check it out.

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  1. You can do it! The first round of edits is always my favorite, as I struggle just to get the first draft down on paper. Once I can see the whole story, I find it easier to adjust and make changes.

  2. Ooh, that lack of confidence as a writer will get you every time. I've so been there. You can do it. No one knows your story like you do. Believe in yourself and with every scene you edit, you'll know you're honing your craft. ;D

  3. I'm at exactly the same point Clarissa, and I agree – it's terrifying. I too have wished I had an editor (or an agent) on my side with the professional experience to point me in the right direction. It's at this point when the story is still to raw to give to critique partners, and we have to rely on our own instincts to make those big changes. I am finding scene notecards very helpful to see an overview of the story and find the weak points. But I still struggle with knowing if I'm going in the right direction.