3 Ideas to Consider While Editing

3 Ideas to Consider While Editing.jpgHaving finished the first legitimate draft of my book, I’ve been spending a lot of time revising and editing. At times, editing can feel like a major drag, especially after pouring so much heart and soul into a piece. It isn’t always fun, but man, is it necessary. That being said, here are three things to keep in mind while editing.

There is No Perfect First Draft

Writers spend a lot of time crafting their stories and deserve to feel proud of their work. An author’s story is his mind-child. But, much like real parents, sometimes it’s easy to slip into a defensive mindset when it comes to critiquing said child. I’ve found myself in this situation more than once with my own stories. It’s important to remember that there is no perfect first draft. With a some edits, a piece can (and probably will) get better.

Consider a Cooling Period

It’s also tempting to plow straight through to edits once a draft is completed (another editing misstep I’ve been guilty of). Sometimes tackling edits right away can be useful, but I’ve found a lot of times I need a cooling off period where I can step away from my work until the initial buzz has worn off. That way it’s easier to be objective about what might need expansion or cutting. Objectivity is key.

Editing is an Opportunity 

Editing can hurt, especially when a writer realizes something they love dearly–a scene, a character, a phrase–just doesn’t fit. But editing doesn’t have to be the enemy. It’s an opportunity to make the work better. There is beauty in the art of subtraction. It’s peels back the outer layers of the story and forces the writer to confront the message she is trying to convey to the audience. It brings us closer to the very heart of the story, and that is what writing is all about.

Happy Writing!

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4 Comments

Filed under Girl Meets Fiction

4 responses to “3 Ideas to Consider While Editing

  1. Tiegan

    I’ll definitely take these ideas to heart.

    I’ve just finished outlining what may be my first novel/ novella… I’m kind of uncertain at the moment about how long the turn-out will be. I’m worried that once I get into writing my first draft that I won’t be so keen anymore, like what has happened too many times… I really want to finish something for a change!

    Thank you for this post.

    -T

    Like

  2. That’s a great way to look at editing. It’s not an easy process, but the point is that no matter how much edits hurt now, they’ll make the book better in the end. Whatever is cut along the way is more than made up for by having a fantastic finished product.

    Like

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