Do I Really Have to Edit?

The dreaded edit process, its one reason I could never finish a writing project. It’s always the least amount of fun when it comes to writing. However, in the last few months I’ve been editing a lot more and learning how to make it easier.

I just finished editing my novel and this time scenes were cut or added. When I say cut it was extra words, run on sentences or dialogue that just wasn’t necessary and didn’t move the story along.

Editing was something I used to dread but it gets easier each time. I feel like the next step is to find some beta readers to give me their input and criticism. It’s hard to put my work out there since I’m very shy but I need to learn to get over that.

Here’s a rundown on what I’ve learned so far.

  • Give your draft time to cool off (at least a week, more if you can) look at it with fresh eyes
  • Read it aloud, especially the dialogue. Pretend you’re the characters speaking
  • Give yourself enough time to edit thoroughly; a chapter a day works for me. I work full time so this works best without being rushed. It also leaves me time to write for fun and work on other projects
  • If you can, don’t do it when tired or your brain is fried. If you can edit when you first wake up kudos.

I’d like to start sending out query letters, but there is more to learn first. I still want to improve my manuscript and learn more about the industry in general.

Anyone else dread the edit process? What works well for you?

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6 thoughts on “Do I Really Have to Edit?

  1. I agree, putting the work away for awhile and then coming back to edit it works the best. You will catch the mistakes, or simply what isn’t working and what could be improved so much easier!

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  2. Hi there! Awesome post, and I think you gave some solid advice on editing. I actually like the revision process more than the rough draft, because it is the first time I feel my writing isn’t a complete pile of crap. If you don’t mind me asking, what genres do you like writing in the most?

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    • Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. I like to write thriller, horror, paranormal and romance. A little bit of everything. I have some short stories I’ll be posting soon.

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      • Thats awesome! Have you tried to publish any of them in magazines? I know Apex publishes science fiction and horror, and I think they pay $0.06/ word. Escape Artist is a family of digital magazines that publishes short stories in both text and as audio and I think they also pay $0.06/word. Spark Literary Anthology publishes almost everything, but I think they only pay $0.02/word.

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      • No problem! Also if you are interested in doing a blog party, I am in the process of organizing all the guests. It might be a decent way for you to reach some new audiences. If you are interested my e-mail is stcapps17@gmail.com. I’d be happy to send you some more info on it.

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