editing again

I read somewhere that many of the amazing novels that I love the most were edited 15-20 times before publication. That’s a lot of revision and tweaking and sweat just to make every word perfect – but so worth it in the end.

I’ve lost count for OR NOT TO BE, but I think I just finished revision number 10 or 12, and it is working. It gets better every time I hash through it.

This last edit, though, was the most enjoyable so far. I know and love these characters like family now so the process of inserting, deleting, and modifying is easy for me. New scenes and dialogue round out the story and further develop the characters.

AND, when you throw in the ol’ agent factor, this edit felt more real–more like I was actually making the improvements for potential real live readers who will hold an actual copy of my book in their hands. And read it. My words. My story going into their heads. These readers (strangers?!) will meet my characters. They’ll laugh with them and cry with them.

Ack! Just slap me one, I’m so excited about this book!

One writer in my writing group questioned the need for so much revision–asking why? Was the writing not good enough? Why does it take so much revision? This writer intends to write it once and get it “right.” I think a lot of new writers think like this in the beginning – that their words and story will be good enough, finished, when they write “the end.” And I think, “Cripes, this blog post took ten revisions and htere’s probably still a typo in it.”

Is that where self-publishing got its bad name? From un-edited authors who were just done?


7 thoughts on “editing again

  1. I think that’s exactly why self-publishing is still a poor stepchild. Not that every traditionally published book is perfectly edited, but far too many self-published books are. Congratulations to you for understanding that writing isn’t “one and done.”

    1. Hi Candace,
      Thanks for your comment. When I finished this book (8 years ago) I was tired of it. I took a break and then I edited it three times before I let anyone read it. Then I edited it again after each of a bunch of intelligent readers. I am enjoying the editing process, while I keep myself entertained writing new material.
      Nice to meet you!

  2. after hearing authors speak at our local B&N store, i understood that a book is never really done. there’s always that urge to go back and make it better. most authors had to push themselves away from the desk and say, “That’s it! I will not rewrite this book again.” Most of the time the book/novel ends up to be completely different from the first draft. so glad you figured that out, too. has your agent read the whole thing? has she suggested changes? then the publisher could possibly do the same thing. it’s a crazy thing that happens to our “babies”. whoopie!!! the ride has begun!

    1. whoopie is right!
      Yes, my agent gave me her incredible insight and I am molding the story into a new shape yet again. As long as it keeps getting better and better, I will keep polishing.
      Miss you!

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