Editing is not fun
I just read a blog where the author of the blog said that editing is fun for her and should be fun for you. Someone should lock this person up, for their own good and ours.
Writing can be fun. You enter a world where things happen, it’s not boring and if it is you can
fix it. In your story the hero can win, impossible odds can be over come, there is hope.
Editing is murder. Premeditate murder. You go out looking for your darling and you kill them. And you’re told this is good. Readers want you to do this. It’s like your the victorious gladiator standing over your fallen opponent and everyone giving you the thumbs down, like it’s a good thing. Your opponent is your friend, your relative, your baby.
Editing is hard work. I have found myself cleaning the bathroom to get out of editing. I hate cleaning the bathroom, and it’s been really clean the last couple of months.
I feel really good after I finish an edit. For about a day until someone, or I, finds a bunch of errors that slipped through the edit and all the previous edits. Then I go back and do another full edit.
Some editing is mechanical. I have list of works that I misuse. Another list of words that remove so I don’t sound any dumber than I am. “Literally” I’m looking for you. I have another list of words that I spell correctly, but the dyslexia flips the letters around and I cannot see that they are the wrong word. It’s a big list and “form” in place of “from” happens the most often.
I use Autocrit a lot. And it doesn’t like the previous sentence.
I use my critique group a lot. They have read my book several times and they still like it. I got something here, a real book. Each time they review a chapter again they make less corrections even for parts that I have heavily rewritten.
I worry about word count and that is a big reason I hate cutting out material. I have a self imposed limit that the book has to be a minimum of 50,000 words. I struggle to make that limit. For years I struggled to write short stories and screen plays with serious page or word count limits. Now I can’t write long stories.
When I edit, I will delete large passages from my book. Those passages sing to me. They’re my darlings. Those passages are some of the best writing I’ve ever done, and I’m not a very good writer. But like the Beta Readers and critique group says, it don’t work, it don’t belong. So I get out the steam powered Gatling gun eraser and they’re gone. Well, at least for this book. My darling always leave like General MacArthur leaving the Philippines, saying, I shall return.
So editing is something I do, but I don’t like it, and I’m not turning my back on anyone who says they like self editing.
Stay strong, write on, and get out your red ink loaded Gatling gun and edit.
Professor Hyram Voltage
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