There are several ways to go about editing but let’s start with writing.
I write Chapter 1.
I write Chapter 2.
The next time I write, I review and revise Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.
I write Chapter 3.
Next time I review Chapter 1 and 2 and revise Chapter 3.
You can see where this is going. Every time I write a chapter I go back and review what I’ve already written.
Every time I review something, I modify it slightly to better suit the needs of the story. Sometimes I make modifications that I really shouldn’t have. It’s my first book, after all.
Then comes the critique! When I think I have a chapter fairly well done, I ask for critiques from other people. Critiques are awesome because they see things I don’t and readers aren’t in my head when I’m writing something so if I assume a reader will know a certain thing and it turns out, they don’t, then I can tweak the text.
The downside of the critique is that it often causes me some serious doubt. I’ve been told I describe too much so I ripped out tons of content. Someone else then said, “no, I love descriptions, you should leave those in.” This goes on and on until, I either give up, give in, or stop giving a shit.
I read on one of my favorite author’s blogs that a person needs to write all the time, which is why this blog is here. He goes on to say that through constant writing a person will find their “voice”. I’m pretty sure I know my voice but apparently it’s too long winded and doesn’t punctuate itself appropriately and, of course, is passive.
So these are my challenges:
- Stop revising things constantly. (This post for instance, already 7 revisions and I’m not even planning on publishing it for 16 more hours!)
- Make better use of active verbs.
- Stop obsessing over the little things until the first draft is complete.
I could also use an editor. I’ve asked a couple of people for assistance, but, I think there is more to my story than they expected and they quietly slink away. Hell, I’d just like to have a couple people read my story and let me know, generally, what they think. Is it worth continuing? I am pouring hours upon hours into this endeavor and I want to make sure I am investing my time wisely.