Saturday, 28 April 2012

Editing Tales


All day I've been thinking, what can I blog about, what can I blog about?, so this post is pretty late for me - it's just gone nine here in Britain. 

Anyway, I've settled on talking about editing, since I myself will be entering the edit cave soon in regards to my short story collection, which should be really fun. 

I've come a long way since I first started editing, or at least I like to think I have. I was terrified of editing. Me and proofreading, let alone editing, didn't used to be friends. Which was ridiculously silly of me, but when we're young we all make mistakes. So the thought of editing my first completed novel a few years ago, which was basically proofreading times a million, scared me. But eventually I gathered my courage, donned my metaphorical torch, and entered the petrifying editing cave . . .

And it was great! I loved editing. This process, which I had so long feared, I actually enjoyed. I enjoyed reading through my work; remembering scenes; re-working things to get them just right. Plus there is no thrill like deleting thousands of awful, unnecessary words from your manuscript. At one point I started to question whether I was cutting too much - it got that crazy. 

But, nevertheless, I did it. Suddenly editing wasn't so scary anymore. I suppose it goes to show that just because something looks horrible and menacing, it might actually be a great experience waiting to happen. Obviously there were times where editing seemed endless; where I felt like it would never be complete; where I was incredibly tired of hearing my own voice reading aloud that same, awful sentence. But you carry on. This ties in somewhat with my Ulysses post. Keep striving. Keep finding. Don't yield. (That metaphor can be used for anything!)

So to sum up, the editing cave really isn't that awful. Actually, it can be quite fun. I can't wait to go back to editing, which I'm sure will be on and off - things are pretty busy in life right now - but regardless, I'll keep you all updated. Also, I wanted to say a big thank you to everybody who commented on Lucky Number Seven; all your positive words meant so much to me! Plus it was great getting feedback. Hopefully you'll hear more excerpts in the future (once they're edited that is!). 

What was your first experience with editing like? Do you enjoy it, or do you still find it to be an awful process?

2 comments:

  1. I can't remember my FIRST experience editing, though I'm not sure if I went beyond proofreading at all before I had the first draft of the Evergreen manuscript. I hated the idea of editing as a kid. But that was mostly because I had a really short attention span and I wanted to make something new, not go over the stuff I just did. Young and stupid and making mistakes as you said. Now, I love editing. I've cut thousands of unnecessary and horrible words and replaced them with fewer, nicer ones where necessary. Unfortunately, I feel that it is a process which I am trapped it. I will have to overcome that soon if I want to go anywhere.

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    1. I agree, as a kid I just wanted to get it all over and done with, but now I know that finishing a piece of writing is not simply the end. I'm glad you love editing too! I don't think rewriting is necessarily a bad thing, but I can see what you mean. Sometimes it's good to put your writing in front of a fresh pair of eyes to get a new perspective. I know I feel like I can edit things to death sometimes, so it really helps to get other people's feedback to make sure you aren't over-editing (if there's such a thing!).

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