A Few Words On The Editing Process

A Few Words On The Editing Process

The best advice I've learned about becoming a better writer.

This week, I return to editing. I unpack my pens, take out my notebooks and open my word processor to the same opening chapter, visiting familiar first lines I have visited hundreds of times before—begrudging passes and red ink at 3:00 a.m. with only caffeine to fuel me.

It's nothing new for me. My world seems to always come back to editing at some point. In 2013, I started and finished a journey in writing my first novel. Quite coincidentally, I began attending college around the same time. A full plate of writing and essays since entering school and an even bigger project when I realized that my lovely first draft of a novel was not finished until I had edited it. For most students, the idea of editing the average essay is a painful thought. My novel had landed somewhere around 155,000 words.

It fills me with dread just thinking about it.

After three years of working, college and writing in conjunction, I've learned a thing or two about the editing process. That which has brought out the best in my academic writing has, in turn, brought my novel where it is today. The struggle is ever-present and complicated, but these are a few of the best pointers I've found for editing one's writing, both creative and professional.

Distance is key.

Contrary to the popular trend of the all-nighter, most of us need more time to edit than 24 hours (not to say I haven't been there, but hear me out). Any time we write a first draft, we are only experiencing what Terry Pratchett called “telling ourselves the story.” Whether it's a 2,000 word essay or a 50,000 word novel, early drafts tend to spill out in messy, unpolished concepts. Revision and editing are not new applications to remedy the chaos of a first draft, but distance is often very important in churning out quality products. I usually give 48 hours to return to papers for classes, and a minimum of two weeks before returning to any creative project. The less familiar you are with your work, the easier it will be to edit and find your own errors in the long run.

Kill your darlings.

The art of writing is paired, hand in hand, with the art of deleting. Another quote about writing often coined and used is the famous “kill your darlings," meaning we must part with aspects of our projects, even if we love them. Once you're put some distance between you and the draft, you often find yourself with a slew of content you no longer need. After multiple edits, actually, a work can begin to reshape or even change altogether. Some of the most difficult points in the writing process are where you have a piece that you absolutely, completely and totally adore, and it no longer fits with the rest of the work. I tend to keep a file for deleted scenes or sentences I'm fond of. They always find their way back into your writing, one way or another. Sacrificing words from a work will often strengthen it, in the long run.

The more eyes, the better.

When all editing is said and done and you have properly cleaned up your work, it is in your best interest to hand off your writing to a few trusted friends and well-read eyes. For some, the idea of opening an unfinished work to criticism causes more anxiety than finishing the work itself. Nevertheless, there is something great about the presence of a reader in a project. My beta-readers, past and present, have been some of the most valuable voices in changes and last edits. They can catch errors, continuity problems and tone changes that you might have otherwise missed. It can be a frightening part of the editing process, but worth the bravery it can take.

What are your favorite pieces of editing advice, or tricks that get you through a drafts? Do your processes differ with your creative and academic work?

Cover Image Credit: My Shelby Library

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Atlantic City Should Be Immediately Added To Your Travel Bucket List, There's More Than Meets The Eye With This Gem

There's something for everyone.

When people usually hear the word “AC” they usually picture large amounts of alcohol, endless rows of poker tables, and flashy slot machines. However, the truth is Atlantic City has much more to offer than meets the eye. Since my first trip to Atlantic City on my 13th birthday to see Kelly Clarkson live, I found each trip after that to offer me something new and exciting.

Below I’ve listed some gems of the city besides the typical casinos and clubs.

1. Tanger Outlets and the playground

Unless you are a local or have visited before, you probably wouldn’t know that Atlantic City is actually home to two major shopping centers, the Tanger Outlets, and the Playground. The Tanger Outlets is my personal favorite as it has over 100 stores to shop in. The Playground is also fairly popular amongst visitors and has high-end stores such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany’s. The Playground though is generally more expensive to shop in and as a girl who appreciates a good bargain, I would recommend to check out the Tanger Outlets first.

2. The Steel Pier

The Steel Pier is great for a day out and to bring out the inner child in all of us. It is open from April to October each year and features an arcade, over 20+ carnival themed rides, and even a helicopter service to see the sights from bird's eye view! In addition, the Steel Pier also offers many holiday and seasonal events that are always well organized and exciting to attend.

3. Great dining

Atlantic City has such a variety of dining options that it's almost impossible to find a place that you don’t like. Some of my personal favorite places to eat include Tropicana’s Carmine’s Italian Restaurant, Harry’s Oyster Bar and Seafood, and the Melting Pot. Most restaurants are within walking distance from the hotels, but still, make sure to make reservations as you may not get seated right away!

4. Rooftop and indoor pools

One of my personal favorite things about AC is their abundance of rooftop and indoor pools! When traveling during the summer I suggest spending an afternoon at your resort’s rooftop pool. Even If your resort doesn’t have one, many hotels offer day passes to theirs. As for indoor pools, they tend to actually be pretty nice and quiet during the winter months.

5. Concerts and shows

From outdoor beach concerts as pictured above to small comedy shows, AC has it all. Since AC is filled with large hotels with clubs and concert stages, it isn’t hard to find a show for you. Below I have listed some of the most anticipated concerts and shows for this season in the AC area, so be sure to get your tickets soon if you plan on going!

Most Popular Upcoming Shows

Sat Mar 24th, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM: Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival-Atlantic City Convention Center-Atlantic City, NJ

Sat April 14th,8:00 PM: Jerry Seinfeld-Borgata Events Center- Atlantic City, NJ

Sat May 26th,7:00PM: Keivn Hart-Boardwalk Hall Arena-Atlantic City, NJ

Sun Jul 1st,2:00PM-Sam Hunt-Atlantic City Beach-Atlantic City, NJ

Thurs/Fri/Sat-July 19th, 20th, 21st-Britney Spears-Borgata Casino Event Center-Atlantic City, NJ

Ultimately, Atlantic City is what you make of it. If you are looking for a traditional gambling and partying scene, AC can definitely give you that experience. However, AC is much more than this and I would go as far as recommending families to go on a weekend getaway here during the summer,as it offers something for every age. Hopefully, every reader can take something from this article and do some further research on what AC has to offer that relates to their specific interests.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Gass

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Lil Yachty's 'Lil Boat 2' May Not Be Enough To Keep Him Afloat

Here's what you need to know about "Lil Boat 2."

On March 9, Lil Yachty dropped his newest album, “Lil Boat 2.” The album consists of 17 songs, most of which were probably better off not being on the album and seriously failed to impress me, despite its early success on iTunes.

In all of the reviews I have ever written, I normally organize it song-by-song, giving feedback to each track. This time, however, I think I can save all of us time on this article by just being completely honest about Lil Yachty’s “Lil Boat 2.”

Most of the songs from 1-10 on the tracklist are NOT worth listening to.

"TALK TO ME NICE" (ft. Quavo), "GET MONEY BROS." (ft. Tee Grizzley) and "she ready" (ft. PnB Rock) are the only three songs from the first 10 that are even remotely enjoyable.

Other than those three, every other song from the top ten songs on the tracklist were absolute garbage.

The beats to the songs weren’t that bad but, overall, it just sounded like Lil Yachty and his features were WAY too high to be in the studio.

Yachty’s flows, bars and rhyme schemes were ALL weak throughout the entire album, and if it weren’t for the final six songs on “Lil Boat 2,” this review would be nothing but bashing Lil Yachty.

From the 12th track on the album, "MICKEY" (ft. Offset, Lil Baby) the album runs through much more smoothly, regardless of how basic those last couple of songs are.

I imagine Lil Yachty’s fanbase consists mostly of teenagers who eat tide for Internet views and anybody who knows nothing about what a real rapper is.

Seriously. I cannot stress how elementary this album is. If you’re looking for new rap music to listen to, check out Tory Lanez’s album, “MEMORIES DON’T DIE,” or Logic’s “Bobby Tarantino II.”

Both of those albums are so much better than “Lil Boat 2” that they make Yachty look like an amateur–which he is.

Final Score: 5.8/10
Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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