Editing, especially editing some stories the way they are written sometimes, can sometimes be horrible and a form of self-torture and punishment. I always knew that the next time I fully edited The Sound Of her MASTER'S VOICE it was going to be a bitch. A few months back I had decided I was going to re-edit all the chapters to make them a little more visually arresting and easier to read on Literotica.com, but at that time I had also just finished writing the final chapters for the chapter by chapter posting and was pretty burned out on working with the story (another reason I was choosing not to begin the second novel until the summer).
So anyway, after the whole plagiarism situation came the decision that I wanted to sell the story, because if someone could steal My work and it was good enough for them to sell then why couldn't I. So almost three weeks ago I began to reformat and re-edit the novel for a more mainstream publication. I dove right in, not thinking about all the pain and headaches it was going to cause on day one. Of course for the first couple of chapters it was smooth sailing, but then I got to Chapter Four and the introduction of Bored As Hell and Heather's obsession with internet chat. Yeah, having chatroom dialogue is pretty fun, and in the beginning it was especially fun when all the chatters (some 40 at least throughout the novel) had their own specific font, font size and color, as at that time I had no thoughts on publishing to a broader audience whatsoever.
Well, posting sites and e-readers do not do pretty fonts and colors, so that was the first thing that had to go. Of course stripping it out and replacing it was as easy as cutting and pasting. It was just a matter of spacing things so the reader could tell who was saying what. Near the end of the chapter by chapter posting on Lit and as I resubmitted the first few chapters to Lushstories.com I came to the decision that it would make it even easier on the reader if I underlined the chat ID of each user. The thing is for some reason I did not save the changes for those three chat dialogue laced chapters that made it to Lush, and only the last few chapters (where there was hardly any chat dialogue) had been done with the underlining before being posted to Lit.
Uh-hu. Acres and acres of pages and pages of chat dialogue (some 200-350 pages of it) to go through and underline the chat ID of all the users. Oh, the fucking horror! I would almost rather have another kidney stone removed via My urethra without being under anesthesia.
However, I suppose doing so is a labor of love. The internet chat and the characters Heather meets through it are a major part of the story and how her journey into the BDSM lifestyle truly begins. The number one subject that most people have commented on is how much they love those scenes because it makes it more real to them. I know that even when the story is set, 2006 & 2007, that old school internet chat rooms and chatting were very much in their decline, however I know from writing it that it brings back a certain nostalgia. So, despite the fact that these conversations could be condensed into what Heather sees on her screen and abridged , there is no way I am going to take them out, no matter how big of a headache they can cause.
Some would say, just get an editor, that there are many people who do it on a volunteer basis, many on Lit and Lush I know. However I found early on that with free editing you get what you pay for, which is pretty much nothing. So I would rather do it Myself, that labor of love I am sure a lot of people would love to have the money to say, "I've got someone who does that for me."
The good news for Me is that I am on the last chapter of Book Three: Journey Into Mystery, which has one of the longest chat sequences in the novel, and is the last major part of the book where a majority of the dialogue is in the form of chat room postings.
I know there are other writers out there who just love editing as much as I do. Anyone want to share their editing horror stories, advice or observations?