Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on November 23, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Writing is fun. Sometimes it flows out of me like a post winter river and sometimes it trickles like a pre-fall creek. No matter how it flows, it’s always enjoyable. I laugh at the things that make me laugh, cry at the things that make me cry about my writing, and through it all, I feel a sense that this is what I’m meant to do. I truly love to write. The stories, the characters, the settings, the introduction and the denouement; all of these keep me up at night or rush through my brain all day. Suffice to say, writing is my passion.
Editing…not so much. Who would have thought it could be so incredibly tedious? To take a Wesley from Princess Bride quote and make it my own, “Editing is pain. Anyone who says it isn’t is selling something.” I have been very fortunate to have friends willing to point out my various errors and plot holes. I have been on sites like worthofpublishing.com, authonomy.com and wattpad.com and gotten invaluable feedback on my work. Family and friends have pointed out missing words or incongruencies I had never seen or originally refused to acknowledge. I have ‘reviews’ on authonomy.com and worthyofpublishing.com that at times make me cringe and at others make me feel like I’m on the right track.
Through it all, I’ve learned a lot about the writing process in general and my story in particular. I have had the process simplified through a little handy program called Autocrit.com and read books that have gotten me on the right track. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing my book go from a very amateur draft to something I can be proud to publish. I have discovered hidden gems that I would have originally left out or even missed altogether and happily incorporated them. I’ve seen things in my story from new angles and I’ve learned how to tweak things that didn’t need dramatic change.
Still, editing can be both boring and painful. Admitting that my work wasn’t a masterpiece from the get-go hasn’t been easy. I look back now and wonder how I could have ever thought the first draft was good enough, knowing what I know now. At the time though, I just couldn’t see how it could be improved. I have come a long way since the first book I wrote back in 2009. I know more now about character development, dialogue, narrative and how to creativly turn a phrase. And yet. And yet I still chafe at the nitty gritty editing. I know it needs to be done. What book is good on its first draft unless you’ve been writing a long, long time? And even then, I think it’s near impossible to turn out a Pullitzer Prize winning novel on your first try.
So, I edit. I don’t like to do it, but I know it’s necessary. Some wise person once said, “Nothing worth anything comes without a lot of hard work.” I can’t sit back and expect my book to edit itself and I certainly can’t assume that a reader worth their salt would like my book without some major polishing to the overall structure, as well as all the little details.
I guess this turned into a bit of a personal pep talk. It can also apply to any other writers out there who really, really detest the editing process. I’ve watched my humble little book go from a rough draft to something a publisher became interested and know that it is even better than it was back then. Some day soon the first book in my five book series will be up for the world to see. I hope when it is, that it’s as free of errors, contradictions and redundancies as possible. Above all, I hope it will touch the readers’ hearts and help them dream and retain their faith in true love.
Until next time, keep dreaming and never give up.