Tuesday, 11 September 2012

I Hate Editing

Dearest Readers, I hate editing.

I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

It is the bane of my existence, but considering I want to get published, I have to deal with it. Woe is me.

I can handle writing thousands and thousands of words of first draft, but when it comes to editing the drivel, I get lost and it's as if I'm being waterboarded.
The reason I'm feeling so much hate towards editing right now is because I'm in the middle of editing my NaNo'10 novel, a steampunk with leprechauns and thieves and bluestocking girls. And it is tough. It's kicking my ass. But, I must persevere.

I guess what I hate most about editing is that I don't know how to do it. There's no rules on how to do it. Every book or guide or piece of advice on editing is different, and a lot of the time, it's contradictory, so I have no idea what to do and where to start and how to go about perfecting my precious novel.

So far, I think I've managed pretty well. My first step was to read through my manuscript and type out an outline of everything that happens. Important plot points. Character deaths/injuries for future reference. What weapons are used (because I'm unable to keep track of what weapons my characters use, apparently. (in one scene, my male main character was stabbing people with a sword, in the next scene, the sword became a gun).
At the same time, I wrote down all the things that needed to change in comments on the document, so that I know what to do.

And... now I'm stuck. I have no idea how to go about making these changes. I have no idea what to do. All I want to do is lie in a foetal position and cry forever and hope that an agent takes pity on me.

I've been slowly--super slowly--making changes to my document. I've never realised how hard it is to actually edit a whole novel.

I feel that editing is a bit like time-travel: if you tweak a slight bit at the beginning of the novel, the end can be vastly different, much like the theory that if you accidentally killed a plant, then the future can be supremely different. Blah, there's so much responsibility.

It doesn't help that my betas are impatiently waiting for my newly revised novel to arrive in their inboxes. So much pressure! What if they don't like it? What if I suck? Argh, can you see why I prefer to write novels and not edit them? (Though, funnily enough, I have no problem with editing other people's work.)

So, how do you edit? What do you do to make editing less of a terrifying chore, and something that can be enjoyed?

1 comment:

  1. I was terrified to begin editing my NaNo 08' novel, so I set it aside for a few years because I couldn't figure how to do it on my own, but then a writer friend of mine recommended I get it professionally edited. So, I did. And what came of that editing job was a breathe of fresh air. The editor did a paragraph by paragraph edit and it made it much easier for me. Of course, it still had to go through more edits after that essential edit(7 of them) but it was a start. I don't know if you have $ to do an edit like this, she charges depending on word count, but it might be worth looking into. Her name is Tiffany Cole. You can find her on Twitter @TiffanyTCole. Hope this helps!