Thursday, March 13, 2014

Failing My Way Into Editing

So if you’re expecting a really knowledgeable post about how awesome edits are, you’ve got the wrong girl. Up until recently I just couldn’t get a handle on them. Sure, I knew they were important. Everyone talked about them. When I tried to edit my projects they just got worse. For a while I give up, just figuring that I’d get better and better at first drafts and “edits” would just be clean up exercise.

The fact that I’ve only come across one author was says they don’t do major edits made me hesitate. My stories just weren’t good enough to stand on their own. In my heart of hearts I knew they never would be. So I decided to give it one more try. I chose to start with a story that had turned out worse than expected so I didn’t have much to lose.

This time really was different. By trying to perfect my ability to write first drafts I was able to show myself what I couldn’t do. I strived so much to be perfect, to make the exact right choice, but it’s almost impossible. Every manuscript would be printed and stored leaving a very discouraged writer. But on almost every manuscript the things that tripped me up were the same. Watching it happen meant that I could go back later and work on fixing it. Then when I was unable to fix it I could seek to learn that particular skill. I’m on my way to being a mean self-editor J.

So it wasn’t my skills at succeeding that made the difference at editing, it was my skills at failing. In my second draft of Chaos Rules I’m a lot more willing to take chances then I was with my first. Because I’ve seen how much better the second draft is and I have ideas on new things to do with the third. Each pass is building my story up, refining it down so that each scene, each story line, works like a charm. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m excited to edit now.


  1. I hate editing. Hate. I try to write pretty clean first drafts as a result too, but alas. Everyone has to bite the bullet at one point or another.