I realize a lot of writers hate the editing process and I used to but through the years I've grown to enjoy it. It's fun to me. I always find that revising helps me come up with even better ideas than I had the first time around, especially when you sit the book down a few months. That's why it's so important to sit your work down and not edit immediately after you're through writing it. I'm amazed at how different my creativity is from the point of finishing a book to picking it back up and revising it months later.
It's kind of like a rebirth of the book. I find myself thinking of super plot twists that were even better than before and I wondered, "Why didn't I think of this the first time?" There really is power in letting the manuscript stew. I go back to my published novels and I think of things even now I could have done better and I go, "If I had one more chance to revise..." LOL, but of course once it's published it can't be.
I find that not all stories need revising of course. All books need editing but not all will need revising or rewrites but I actually enjoy doing rewrites because nine times out of ten the book will be much stronger and more entertaining if you know what revisions are necessary.
Then of course you have some stories where you can finish them and do a few edits and that's it. They're in polished shape. Some stories are just done when they're done but others will take much longer and must be beaten into something better, LOL.
I think the reason a lot of writers hate editing/revising is because they look at the long term and go, "Oh I gotta go through this whole book again!". That's the wrong way to look at it. You should take your time, go scene by scene and if it fits, leave it alone but if you know you can make something better, I feel the writer's only hurting themselves by cutting corners just because they don't want to go through the book as many times as needed.
We should always put our best foot forward no matter how long it takes to complete the project. Editing, whether you hate it or not is just a part of the writing life so we might as well enjoy it.
Anyway, anyone else here like me who doesn't HATE editing/revisions?
Stacy ... I am a novice at novel writing. I finished my first one about 5 months ago. I picked it up the other day and started reading and can't find anything to change. I was thinking about it at the time and I believe the main reason is ... I did more than write it ... I lived it. For me to find and be able to change something on my own would be like trying to change getting a divorce from my second wife. It happened and can't be undone, by me.
This does concern me, because I have started another novel and if I did something wrong the first time I am almost certain to repeat those same mistakes.
I guess that is why they editors that aren't directly involved with the writing (living) of a book.
I like revising, but don't much like the first draft. In fact, I revise constantly. The day after I added some pages to my novel, I go over those pages. After I finish a chapter, I go over the chapter again. When the chapter comes back from my readers (see if you can't get a couple of readers, Garry), I revise again. And when the book is done, I do a total overhaul to fix all the plot holes. Then the editor gets it and chances are I revise again.
What comes after that is pretty much a drag. The copy-editing is mildly entertaining, but proofing the galleys is extremely dull work.
I revise continually while I'm writing. Yeah, you're not supposed to, but if something that happens later in the story changes something that happened previously, I'll go back and edit rather than leave it to chance. Continuity seems to be best served if it's tackled right away.
I really don't mind revising/editing. It's just part of the writing process to me.
Who says you're not to supposed to revise as you, Pepper?
Half the writers and published authors i know - incl. me - end up with a finished manuscript (NOT a first draft)) because we revise as we go.
There are NO rules about how to get the words down.
And every writer needs an independent editor - no matter how great their book is.
And once the editor is finished it needs a proofreader - who is neither the author, nor the editor.
I hear it a lot online. According to them you're supposed to worry about writing the first draft and not endlessly going back to revise and edit what you've already written--some novice writers apparently never finish what they're writing because they're always revising. Given that I've been writing for thirty-five years I don't find revising as I go to be a problem. It helps keep the storyline firmly in mind so I always know where I've been with it, and it helps keep those pesky bulls from riding the breeze along the ocean's edge (erm, well, the 'g' and 'b' keys are awfully close together, aren't they?)
ha ha gotta love those flying bulls.
I'm with you - in length of my writing life and how I write.
I suspect many of the 'writing rules' being touted online are spruked by novices, the aspiring yet to-be-published, and those who spend more time talking/writing 'about' writing than actually writing.
I'm a chronic reviser, doing dozens of rewrites before I think it's worthy of being read. It's easier than the first draft, because you're not creating something out of whole cloth, just adjusting, fine-tuning, and honing. There are also the little droppings of new ideas that pop up during revisions.
Oh shut up, Dan! LOL! You couldn't wait to point out my mistakes. So I guess I should have edited the post huh?
And no my editor's not that patient I'm just good in bed. HA HA HA!
(Stacy throwing rocks at Dan's house.)
But for real thanks for the compliment and I think you're a great spirit here too. We all make mistakes, but believe me I think most of us are more careful when we are OFF a message board and writing in our books than posting. But I get your point.
You show off. I can't wait to catch something in your posts, LOL!
Ahh, you know I love ya'!
Yeah and you're right. Writers should make sure to have beta readers reading as well. You definitely can't catch everything by yourself.
Garry I second, IJ. I'm not trying to offend, but most writers believe they can't find anything wrong until others check it out and we realize we've missed a lot of things. That's just part of being a writer. You might have the story written fine but there might be some technical things wrong that you might overlook.
To be safe, always get beta readers to look it over.
I hate the first draft. Hate it hate it hate it. I'd rather watch three hours of HGTV than sit down to write another page of draft. Sure, there are parts that fall into place and seem to write themselves, and there are days when my Muse follows my into my writing cave and actually pulls her weight for a change, the lazy bitch. Still, first drafts are a pain in the ass, and I'd do without them if I could.
Of course, then I'd have nothing to edit. I enjoy taking the dreck that poured from my open vein and turning it into something I think someone else might enjoy. Picking words, re-arranging phrases, and reading dialog aloud back to myself so it sounds like the voices in my head have taken over completely and my Beloved Spouse deadbolts the front door and tells the neighbors I've gone away and must have left the television on. That's the fun part.
Whatever works. I had a history professor tell a story about a car breaking down to show the difference between the English and French ways of doing things. In England the two mechanics took the car apart looking for the problem. In France the two mechanics sat down and talked about what the problem could possibly be until they'd figured it out.
In each case they got to the problem and fixed it in about the same amount of time, so the end result was the same, both systems work.