Editing – A New Found Love?

Posted by on Jul 26, 2011 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

I know, I can’t believe I just typed that either, but ever since I got past the major road block when I started editing Shift, I’ve enjoyed it.

How can this be you ask?

I couldn’t tell you, but I do have a guess.

If you’ve followed this blog for long, you’ll know I had a hell of a time with Exiled. I edited that book so many times, it got to the point where I couldn’t even see missing words. I knew what was supposed to be there, so my mind inserted it while I was reading. If it wasn’t for a professional editor, and great friends who read through it for me, it would still be a mess. Even now, after a professional edit, and two rounds of beta readers, there are still a few missing words.

Most of my dislike of editing came from not knowing what I was doing. I didn’t have a system, I didn’t have any know how whatsoever. I just wrote the book, and went through it again and again, each time, trying to make it better than the last. There were weeks I hated that book.

With Shift, I did an outline. Problem one was solved, no major plot holes. Now as I go through the second draft, I’m really thickening that story up. Developing characters better, and trying to write with more purpose. Doing this has been oddly enjoyable for me. I’m coming up with new ideas to show different sides of the people this story is about. I’m cleaning it up as a go, and its not in as bad a condition as Exiled was. In fact, after writing Shift, I’d say quality wise, it’s close to what I handed my editor with Exiled. So maybe, as my craft improves, I find a new appreciation for other aspects of the process? Which is good, it’s only the beginning.

So tell me:

What process do you use when you’re editing? I’m curious to know what methods work for other people. Do you enjoy editing? Why? And what part – if any – of the entire writing process, up until your ready to publish, do you dislike?

Share your thoughts!


  1. I Love it. I love watching my horrendous grammar and craptastic spelling get wiped away. I love reading something that I wrote and going “Wow…that's GOOD!” in amazement. I love retracing the steps taken by my own brain. I love adding “deleted scenes” and improving dialogue and characters.

    Welcome to the #amediting club! =D

  2. I'm concerned you're not feeling well, buddy. Editing and love????

    Good for you! I', glad you find the process enjoyable. I have a few days where I say the same (today is not one). The main thing I dislike with editing is how confused I make myself. I see things that don't connect but can't always find a way to fix it. I also hate going back to chapters I wrote a year ago and realizing it's lost the pizzazz I remember it having.

    I'm trying to edit in layers. With this first go around, I'm focusing on content: fixing plot holes, deleting meaningless characters, elaborating where necessary, etc. I'll probably focus on these same components in the next draft as well. I'd like to make it as polished as possible before the betas dive in.

    From there, it will be onto mechanical things: word choice, sentence structure, grammar, etc. And from there, I'm really not sure. Whatever seems necessary at the time, I guess.

  3. Daez: I agree. Such a good feeling to read something you wrote long ago and still love it!

    Paul: I edit in a similar way as you. I take one thing, and run it through the entire MS. Then I tackle the next thing, and repeat, repeat, repeat.

    Also, I have my bad days too, I just don't let you read about them very often :).

  4. I hate editing. Sometimes I'll think this is a really great line, but oh look how incorrect it is. I hate having to remove whole sentences just because I can't get them right. Somedays I think everything I write sucks. I seem to get past that though, you have to if you want to be a writer. I have an editor too, but sometimes I don't like what she edits or I change it afterward.


    There's nothing worse than having that kick ass line you LOVE, and you can hear the character screaming in your head, and having to cut it. It pains me.

    Or, when you have that line. You know what it needs to say. You know what it needs to get across, but the words just don't work. That irks me on an extremely high level.

    As for thinking you're writing sucks. It doesn't. I know this. I've read your writing :). But I know the feeling all too well. I have system now though. If I'm struggling with my book, or a specific chapter and I can't get past it, I take a break. Sometimes a few hours upwards to a few days if necessary. If I still don't like it after that, it's not me being a harsh critic, it's me realizing something doesn't work. Then I have to do the problem solving and find out why.

    Thanks of your comment Madison!

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