What I am learning from editing

Chapter 8 editing

I have mentioned that my publishing plan has changed a little.

And lately I have been working on a short story for publication soon.

I had thought that I would get the story out, edited and published and then I could settle into the (long) process of editing my fantasy novel.

It is strange how we perceive how things will go. It did not occur to me that I would need to put as much effort into the editing process for the short as I would the novel. But every word is just as important.

Sadly this was only evident after I read most of the short story to my writing group and the suggestions and points starting flowing quicker and thicker than I expected. Truly I thought it was nearly there. And when I considered their feedback I was.

No matter what we are working on each page deserves the same attention.

I am trying to get more writing out to you. It is important to me as a writer to provide the reader with writing. And the more I have out there the greater my chances of being able to write more and ‘day job’ less. But I may have lost sight of some important points in my eagerness to get the writing out.

I want to produce great writing

I want to be producing writing that you not only enjoy but want to read more, and hunger for more and look out for more. Producing any book that is only mediocre writing, whether a novel or a short story, will not inspire you to read more.

I want to build an audience

This of course links back to the first point. If you are not enjoying what you are reading then you will not buy another book. Again it is because I want to create an immersive reading experience that you will want to fall into as soon as you see I have released another story.

I want to love producing it

I do enjoy writing. I find it as immersive writing a story as I do reading a well written one (even though at that first draft it is not well written). I want to continue that and although I worry about the editing process I love to see how the story tightens and smooths and comes together more coherently during that editing process.

It is not about the money

Well it would be nice if my writing paid the bills so that I could escape into it every day. But I write firstly because I love it not because it could be a way to pay the bills and focusing on publishing only to make money will not make me happy either.

 

As well as learning how to improve my story during the editing phase and even learning more about my characters and their world as I consider things I had not during the drafting phase; I am slowly learning that I can make my stories better, learn more about my processes and as much as I love the drafting phase I am learning the joys of editing.

The most important thing is that any writing I produce should have the same effort applied to all stages, whether short or long or epic. Already I worry about editing the trilogy I have started but perhaps I need to think about just how much better it will make the story and focus on that rather than the time it will take. Writing is a slow business anyway and I would rather take the time and do it properly than rush and produce something none of us are happy with.

What part of the writing process do you rush through? Or want to rush through?

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One Reply to “What I am learning from editing”

  1. I’d love to skip from the first draft to cashing that best-selling pay cheque 😛
    I probably least enjoy the tidying up bit — that part between finally ironing out the plot and fleshing out the characters and completing the work. I usually loathe the story by the end and can’t click send quickly enough.

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