Friday, June 3, 2011
EDITING IS NO FUN
When I first started writing I didn’t know what the heck I was doing when it came to editing. Over the years I figured out what my bad habits are and the ways to trick myself into picking away the junk out of my work and making it shine enough to pass on to an editor that can further shape it up.
But here’s what I’ve learned about it overall.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A WRITER – YOU NEED TO LEARN TO EDIT
I had to take a refresher course on editing. Sure, many writers think they don’t have to learn to edit. That they don’t need to spend extra time figuring out how to clean up their work – THAT’s WRONG. If you take writing seriously – EDITING is a big part of it.
There are books you can read, but taking a class always helps. Also, editing other people’s work is a sure fire way to learn. Lastly, make a list of your personal writing bad habits while you are studying your books on editing and keep that list as you review your own work.
Like with any career, you have to train yourself to be successful and most well written authors are pretty darn good at editing. I should know, because many of them have ripped my early drafts apart, lol!
WHY SHOULD A WRITER LEARN TO EDIT – DOESN’T THE PUBLISHER RE-EDIT WORK ANYWAY?
Whoa! I can’t tell you how many newbie writers have said that to me in the last few years. With the publishing industry being so competitive your stuff needs to be near publish ready before you start submitting it to agents or publishers directly. Yes, once you get an agent/publisher they will edit it further, but it’s much better for them to start with something that’s already in good shape.
SOME WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR EDITING
Read books on self-editing
Beta read and edit other author’s work
Let your stuff sit for a spell before you jump in with edits
Create an editing checklist for yourself of your bad habits that you need to look for in your document
Use a few editing help tools like autocrit.com which is free
Take a class
ALWAYS REALIZE THAT EDITING IS SUBJECTIVE, skill is different with each person and even the best editors still make mistakes. So try your best to get it as perfect as you can get your work on your own.