Editing – Say hello to my new friend

Editing

I am about a third of the way through draft one of my second novel. As with any first draft there are moments of celebrations and moments of utter failure. As mentioned in an earlier post, it’s a non-Stop roller coaster ride.

On the plus side I’m on par with my first novel. Consistency is good. Right? Right!?

 

I didn’t see it coming

I’m taking chances, trying new things and realizing that half of what I do probably won’t work. But on the bright side, I’m okay with all that.

But there is one thing that stands out that didn’t when I wrote my first novel: I’m actually looking forward to editing.

For a lot of writers, editing is not at the top of their happy list. Either by themselves or with an editor they must make the dreaded decision of what stays and what goes. 

That decision alone can cause a boatload of anxiety. Trust me. The first time I did my own edits the self-doubt that I consumed almost killed me. I was positive I was ruining the story by removing the wonderful backstories that I created.

 

My how things have changed

But this time around things are different and it’s nice. I’m seeing editing in a completely different way. Instead of closing a door or blowing it up I see it as a way of creating new scenes, of expanding the character or adding another layer to the story.

No longer is it doom or gloom. Editing has become a positive expansion of creating the adventure. In fact I’ve caught myself a few times wanting to stop and fix things or add new ideas. But I won’t allow it until draft one is complete.

When I first started writing I was afraid what editing would be like. I feared it would be depressing or worse – A chore. First there’s vacuuming, now there’s editing. Imagine the hell if that were true.

For those of you starting out try to think of editing as an expansion of your work. It doesn’t have to be a pain at all. Think of editing as a partnership and a wonderful one at that.   

Editing 1

27 thoughts on “Editing – Say hello to my new friend

  1. Editing is the time to make your story shine, and shouldn’t be regarded as a chore. But all too often it seems like it. After what seems a lifetime of struggling to write it, you are tired and just want to stop looking at it.
    That’s why they say to put the story away and forget about it. Do something else for a while…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I tend to edit as I go rather than write draft after draft. Still, the final edits can be exciting as my beta readers find thing that need improvement, and I end up with an even better story. I’m glad you have found a way to embrace the necessary!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find the first pass of editing, as we go through the disaster that is the first draft painful. It’s hard yo remember the 1st draft is meant yo be awful. It’s rough and scattered, it’s the artist’s messy sketch…not the finished painting.

    Once I get past that, I enjoy editing..,for a bit. But the 4th pass I’m usually sick of everything. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bryan, I REALLY enjoyed reading this! I have been on an amazing journey over the last year, and have found that I have been “editing” my life. I have had to decide which friends are worth keeping, and which friends are toxic. I have had to decide which thoughts and belief systems I’ve held that are unproductive – and even destructive. I have had to “re-write” some of my thoughts and beliefs, or even create new ones. I have had to learn that all of these things write our stories, and quite frankly I hated my life story! However, I have since realized that my life story has contained elements that have grown me into a stronger, more determined, more loving, caring, compassionate, and empathetic person – those parts are definitely worth saving.

    While I read your post, I was amazed at how in tune I was with the wisdom it contained for LIFE – not just in writing! Those dark nights of the tormented soul, giving way to brighter days. When we keep hanging onto those useless things in our lives, because of some crazy notion that we need to, or that we should, instead of just letting go and taking a chance that something better is waiting for us around the corner.

    We stay in relationships, for the sake of the kids. We go to college, because we are supposed to. We get certain degrees, because they will earn better money, or have more job opportunities. We hold onto jobs we hate, because (fill in the blank). Why not do something different? EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! And keep on doing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My friend, you just described my life in so many ways. ‘Editing my Life’ is the perfect title and one that all of us could easily write. You wrote an amazing reply. So much insight and emotion and so true in every way.

    Our lives are one giant edit and it should be. Thank you for stopping by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your response, and for all your compliments! I was amazed at how much your post paralleled life, and I just had to say something.

      I have a goal to not only edit my life and make it an incredible success story, but I hope to also help others do the same!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It took 20 years to go from, “You are not killing my babies!” (Translation: I will not remove this paragraph from my book) to this: So…you’re telling me this should go here, and I should take out these 3 pages. Why? Oh…that makes sense.”

    It wasn’t an easy road to travel. The Ego has to get out of the way, the mind has to listen to the reasons, and then the emotions have to take a back seat to truth.

    Once you can incorporate that concept into life, it makes life so much easier, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Ego has to get out of the way, the mind has to listen to the reasons, and then the emotions have to take a back seat to truth. – If you ever teach a writing class this is all you have to say. You nailed down the experience in a matter of a few words.

    Like

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