E is for Editing

Most authors will tell you that editing is the scourge of their writing existence. Much like the marketing or platform-building stage, it is tantamount to pulling every hair out of their head with a single pair of tweezers, or making them comb through the source code of their websites. Me? I actually enjoy editing. For me, it’s actually my favorite stage of writing. To use an analogy, editing is sort of like wood-carving.

We all start with an idea. An idea that needs to mature; needs to become rooted and strong.

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How many times has this idea been refined?
How many times has this idea been refined?

Some ideas turn into kindling…

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But some we harvest, and prepare to work our craft upon them. Our first draft is the shape. That outline of the real idea we can already see in our minds.

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And editing is when we get down to the fine details, using screwdrivers, drills, sanders, nails, and saws to change our manuscripts into art.

Do you enjoy the editing process?

Tomorrow: F is for Fantasy!

28 thoughts on “E is for Editing

  1. Great metaphor, but nope, I hate editing. With most things in life, I’d rather have the job done than done well. That doesn’t work too well with writing…

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  2. Beautiful post. I am getting more comfortable with the editing phase as I mature as a writer and get a fuller understanding of the fact that it is within the editing that the story truly takes its shape, but it has been a long process for me to see this!!

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  3. For me, the problem with editing is knowing when to stop. Sometimes I feel like I could keep editing a certain piece forever because it never seems to be “just right”, you know? πŸ™‚
    Loved the metaphor. πŸ™‚

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  4. Yes! What a great way to look at the editing process. I also enjoy that part of writing — especially when you get the lovely satisfaction of KNOWING that you’ve just made a passage, scene, or entire chapter better. πŸ™‚

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  5. Editing is my favourite part of writing. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never finish writing a text; it drags on and on. But when it comes to editing, I’m so excited at the prospect of perfecting my words that it takes no time at all!

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  6. I so enjoy editing. I think you got it exactly right when you said it’s like wood-carving. It’s a beautiful process, and the transformation from a rough draft to a final draft (or as close as any writer can get, I guess) is nothing short of miraculous (or at least that’s how mine feel!). I don’t even let my husband read my roughs. They’re so random, just threads of thought laid out on a page. It’s not until the editing that they become woven together just the right way.

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  7. Oh, I would so rather edit than market!
    Still, hiring an editor is something I will do once I can afford it. Basically, once I’m finished with the writing, I want to be finished with the writing and move on to the next thing, and editing is a barrier to that, which is why I do as much editing as I can as I go.

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  8. I love editing πŸ™‚ Love seeing the work go from rough to honed, shaping it into something more beautiful, more wonderful than it was when I first wrote it. I am so pleased I got past not enjoying it – sure makes the whole writing process a lot easier when you can find something to love in all the stages!!
    Great post πŸ™‚

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  9. I’m really enjoying your posts. The way you’re using such engaging images really makes them stand out from the crowd. I don’t have strong feelings about editing either way. It’s really just part of the whole process to me. I love seeing a story go through its various stages of creation.

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  10. What a lovely description and photo montage. πŸ™‚ I love editing–but mostly when it’s other people’s work! It’s very clear to me how to edit someone else’s work, but editing my own is a lot more challenging. I can get stuck in edit-land, constantly “refining” something that may not need it in the first place. Often, I edit while I’m writing, which I think holds me back. Do you have any tips on avoiding that bad habit?

    Thanks for your helpful posts! πŸ™‚

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  11. That’s a great analogy. And when I paint, I never know when it’s finished – I like to leave it a little rough, because too much ‘titivating’ seems to lose the freshness. Is it the same with books? I leave it for a while, go back and sort it out, that’s enjoyable. Then check for specific things I know I do wrong/badly. But is it ever finished? Could it be improved? Should I just stop? Probably πŸ™‚
    Jemima
    #TeamDamyanti
    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April

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  12. I used to hate editing. My college professor told me I couldn’t call myself a true writer until I loved revising. Now, 15 years later, I still can’t say that I love it, but I know it’s a crucial part of the writing process.

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