Saturday, May 16, 2009

Editing Bloopers


So, all day today I have been reading through my manuscript, crossing things out, and rewriting when I came across a scene where one of my main character’s mother passes away. To set up the scene, the character (John) gets a phone call from his family, saying they want to take their mother off of life support. Well, when he arrives at the hospital, he is able to talk to his mother. In fact, she talks to everyone until the doctor comes and takes away the life support.

I laughed so hard I was crying. Obviously, if someone is on life support, they won’t be talking to anyone. If they are awake and talking…why would a doctor come in a pull the plug on them? Can you say…bad soap opera? Not what I want, so clearly I will be doing some heavy duty edits there. So funny!

What are some of the funniest things you found while editing? Especially a first draft…

27 comments:

Danyelle said...

You know, it's amazing how fast my heroine got over her broken arm. I mean, one scene it was troubling her, the next, it wasn't broken any more. I'll have to talk to her to see why this is. We might be able to revolutionize science!

beth said...

I tend to make things WAY more complicated than they need to be. I sometimes forget that, as the author, I am perfectly capable of moving things around like the hand of God.

T. Anne said...

Maybe your writing a comedy and you just don't know it?

Litgirl01 said...

Danyelle...LOL!! We shall revolutionize science! :-)

Beth...Isn't it wonderful to be in control? :-D

T.Anne - Apparently...LOL! What was I thinking??

Lisa and Laura said...

We are always mixing up character names. At one point we had a character who is dead solving her own murder. SO not good.

KLo said...

Good catch : )

I often get bogged down in melodrama ... and wordiness. I find it entertaining sometimes that, during an edit, I can cut out seven or eight words in many of my sentences.

Lady Glamis said...

LOL! I remember thinking that when I read it, but I didn't take note of it. Hehehe. Glad you caught it! I claim ignorance in the fact that I was reading for pleasure and not beta reading...

Oh, goodness, all my work has fatal errors and flaws like you've described. It's embarrassing, but normal. :)

Litgirl01 said...

Glam - Thank God I'm not the only one. I keep waiting for the lightening strike and the voice of God saying, "Stop writing! You are too dumb!" hehe

Litgirl01 said...

Lisa and Laura...SO FUNNY! LOL Did she solve it? Sounds like a good twist! LOL I had a character that kissed her own father passionately. Name mix up fo sho! LOL

Klo- I know what you mean! I see that all over place. Ugh...this is WORK!

Scott said...

I'm famous (at least in my own mind) for swapping the names of characters. Trust me, things get quite confusing in the edit process.

Oh, and then there was the time where I had two (yes two, right in a row) Chapter Thirteens in my novel. My beta reader didn't bother to tell me about it. I was doing another edit phase and caught the error - something about copying/pasting/changing this or that. Boy, wouldn't that have been a great MS to send an agent.

S

Litgirl01 said...

Scott- I love the character swapping. I finally got my chapters sorted out. Such a mess. LOL Also, I am breathing a sigh of relief that the UK practiced vasectomies in the early 1960s. Whew!

Wendy said...

Right now I have an old lady mail carrier walking down a long gravel driveway to deliver the mail...the other day it hit me...why isn't she just dropping it in the mailbox. :D
Will have to remedy that!
~ Wendy

Litgirl01 said...

Wendy - perhaps she is just a very nice mail carrier who still believes in the old fashion way of delivering the mail to the door. Oh the good ole' days. lol

Mariah Irvin said...

I over explain things. For example:

“Leona is the president of this organization, giving her ultimate authority over everything."

Hmm...hopefully my readers would know that a president is the head of an organization.

Meg said...

Biggest thing I've done that I can think of was completely skipping a scene. I just didn't write it at all. I was so confused when I was reading through it, I kept flipping through pages thinking I had it out of order. But nope. I just didn't write it.

Marybeth said...

I can't think of anything off the top of my head...BUT it IS MONDAY...so I may have to revisit :)

Too funny though!

Samantha Elliott said...

That's awesome! I've forgotten about injuries and had people enter rooms twice. I claimed it was a glitch in the Matrix when my beta-readers noticed.

But mostly, I need to remember what Beth said. I tend to have everything too explained and too purposeful. Sometimes things just are what they are. I am God of my universes, and like my mom I can always just say, "Because I said so!"

Litgirl01 said...

Mariah - that made me snicker! LOL I am going to look out for this in my writing...I prbably do that too.

Meg - that's easy to do!! :-)

Marybeth- It's because you are a genious remember?? There are no mistakes! LOL ;-)

Samantha - love the glitch in the Matrix!! LOL

Davin Malasarn said...

That's a great one! My most embarrassing things are my titles. They evolve quite a bit from the start to finish of a novel. My book started out as "A Row Of Trees" and transformed to "The Wingspan of Daeng Phamduong" to "The Armspan of Daeng Phamduong" to "Shooting Rabbits" to "The Rabbit Shooters" and finally to "Rooster."

Litgirl01 said...

Davin - that's awesome!! LOL I can't stomach changing my title even though there is always the possibility that could happen. :-)

Dave said...

I had a character who set off to sail around the world. He was anchored out on an island when he heard a baby cry. He checked it out and discovered that a woman from a different world was there with a baby. She told the twenty-five year old sailor that he was the reason that she and the baby were here, and that he was to raise the baby.

I must have really wanted to have a kid at that point, because he took to the challenge without quesion. It wasn't until my friend read it that I realized that this character would need some convincing to change his life like that, and convincing to believe that the woman really was from a different world.

By the way, I teach college too (speech com).

Litgirl01 said...

Dave- yeah...I think it would take some convincing for me to take in a child! ;-) So, you teach the class that everyone dreads. lol One of my very good friends/colleagues teaches speech/com! I love her stories.

Alex Moore said...

what an honest & refreshing post! i think one of my favorite things about writing is the fact that each draft, each revision, each book births a better, more mature, more thoughtful writer. i'm loving the journey!

Litgirl01 said...

Hi Alex! Thanks for commenting! Great picture...I have a cat too. Your are absolutely right...it is a wonderful journey. Probably the most rewarding of my life.

Justus M. Bowman said...

When I reread the first draft of my first novel, I noticed one character had four very different names in one chapter. I'm not sure if I felt amused so much as sad.

quixotic said...

Running behind catching up on all my blog reading. How funny. Maybe save that scene for a future comedy story. Just a thought =p

Gotta love the editing process though.

Litgirl01 said...

Quixotic - It's like a bad soap opera! LOL