Editing a Book

I only have my own experiences to go on so if anyone can offer me any advice I’d be ecstatic to recieve it. I’m currently editing my first book and it’s torture. Writing is the easy bit in my opinion, it’s what comes after that’s the real tedious work part. Does anybody else find that?

Writing makes me a jolly, happy go lucky pixie. Editing turns me into the worst kind of teenager who’s been forced to sit down and do their homework. I’m trying to keep in mind some tips I once heard (from some lady who got published so I guess it’s probably sound advice):

the first draft you should just write, the important thing is to get it down.

The second draft you need to go back and fix the plot holes, rework events so they’re in the right place etc.

Third draft you can spend making it even better.

This is all great, but I just wish I could throw the manuscript at a Victorian assistant for the second draft and tell him he won’t get any coal unless it’s done properly.

5 thoughts on “Editing a Book

  1. My first tome on the peccadillos of Tiberius took a decade to edit because I mistakenly assumed that minnows were fish.

  2. I wonder if you could locate the parts that don’t read so easily and just rewrite those parts, without looking at your original manuscript. Then, you can mix and match your best dialog and descriptions from the two. Or maybe that’s more for the third stage. Could you use your the highlighter in your word processing program to find potential plot conflicts? Or print out each scene and rearrange them by hand? I have no idea what I’m talking about, since I’ve never done this, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but those are just the things I think I would try.

  3. I have went through this process 2x now & I agree it is torture!! Writing is about creation, editing (to me) is about destruction :-p
    With that said it does serve a purpose and if you can learn to let go of certain things it makes your story MUCH better!

  4. Oh definately, it’s all about being brutally honest with yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to see though. Rewriting the parts that don’t read so well could work, but in my experience until its sorted out that tends to be the whole book.

    The thing that’s working for me at the moment is doing an overview and rearranging scenes; the plot needed to interweve more and I’m currently just concentrating on that. I suppose its one task at a time…

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