Writing

Staying Interested in the Editing Process


Me after editing… see how happy I am? Yeah… I don’t either.

I have written plenty of editing posts, all with my different editing techniques using my own voice and typewriters, but I was asked not too long ago how I stay interested in the process. It had never occurred to me that it might be hard to stay interested in the editing process. Most of the time we are so engrossed in the process of actually writing the first draft that we may slack or completely forget about editing. Not always, but it happens.

Sure, you could hire a professional editor, but not everyone has the funds to do so. Plus, it’s always good to edit for yourself, even if you can afford an editor. All of this is a learning process, and this is where you can start:

  • FIGURE OUT YOUR EDITING PROCESS
    I actually have two, which are linked above. It took me awhile to figure out what actually helped me stay focused without falling into the monotony of editing. Monotony is bad. Nothing wrong with being consistent, but going through the motions doesn’t help anyone. So, play around. What process do you find less boring? What process might get you excited? Try the classics, try the different, try the innovative. Doesn’t matter. Try them all. Find your process.
  • FOUND IT? TRY ANOTHER!
    What? But I have one that works! Why do I need another? Like your writing style, your editing process needs to evolve. And sure, the one you have now may be working for you, but it will eventually get tiring. Working at a grocery was new and exciting for awhile, but once you’ve rang up bananas (code 4011) over one hundred times, it loses that certain allure… it becomes just another job. I’m not saying you should get another job, but writing doesn’t have to be a job. Neither does editing. Mix it up and keep yourself excited about trying something new.
  • DON’T BE AFRAID TO EVOLVE
    Like I said before, your writing style has changed overtime, so don’t be afraid of changing your editing style along with it. Technology is evolving everyday, so see what’s out there. Try hard ways. Try easy ways. That’s how I keep myself editing. There are too many tools to try out, and too many different processes. Editing isn’t always going to be fun, but it doesn’t have to be boring either. Don’t be afraid of plunging into a new process.

My processes won’t be for everyone, and that is ok. That’s what is so great about blogs, Google+, twitter, and FaceBook. There are so many other places to look for new and innovative processes, and you don’t have to follow anyone else’s technique to the very end. Mix and match, if you so choose. It can only help you in the end. I hope I’ve helped someone out. Now, for my favorite part of any blog post, what do you think? Do you have a set editing ritual? How do you mix it up and stay dedicated to editing? Let me know and comment below!

Thanks for reading!

-Lissy

5 thoughts on “Staying Interested in the Editing Process”

  1. I read a book a while ago, which gave the following tip. Treat your novel as if you’re performing triage on a patient. Work first of all on what you consider the biggest weaknesses, whether than be plot, characters etc., etc., Then move on, dealing with the aspects you want to address in order of importance. I found it very helpful as I was about to start at the beginning on a sentence by sentence effort!

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  2. My favorite quote, “There’s no such thing as good writing. Only good rewriting.” Robert Graves.
    I hate the whole editing process. My editor and I can really get into some heated battles while going over the ms, but I follow exactly what he suggests–he DOES know what he’s talking about! How do I stay interested? By constantly remembering that the book is in its final stage and will soon be published. That alone keeps me going.

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  3. As an editor, I have seen a lot of self-edited novels and papers that were “completely tight” and “fully edited”. It is important for the writer to do his or her own editing, but I have not seen a self-edited manuscript yet that did not need a lot more work. The writer needs to go over his or her own work, but then the book needs to be passed on to fresh eyes and perspective. The self-editing merely saves the editor the trouble of dealing with the worst of your original errors. Every writer has that one grammar rule that trips him or her up every damned time. It is normal and does not mean the writer is terrible.

    As a reader, I have seen some books published that were filled with typos, missing words, and an array of other unfortunate errors, so I am not particularly impressed with the work that the big publishing corporations are doing these days, either. I think the jobs are being rushed through to get the profits rolling.

    Take your time and let your work become the best that it can be. Your story is too important to rush.

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    1. I’m a huge advocate for professional editing in the indie world. I had my first publication proofread by a professional, and because it was my first book she gave me a few helpful tips and tricks that I would have never thought to try without her help.

      A professional editor is a wonderful asset to your writing team and even indie writers should build up a little team for themselves. It can only help, in the end.

      Thank you very much for you comment! It’s nice to get an editor’s prospective.

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