Things I Have Learned About Editing - Part One

Yesterday I finished my first round of edits! Hooray!

Editing has been an interesting experience, and as I'm not finished yet, I figured I'd best title this as "Part One" because who knows what other lessons I've got to learn.

Lots of my early pages look like this:

Rubbish quality, but the sea of RED stands out!

So, here's what I currently know about editing:
  1. It's really exciting!
  2. There are parts of my manuscript so unbelievably awful, I doubt it'll ever be good enough.
  3. BUT! Knowing I can fix those mistakes and make everything awesome feels great.
  4. Editing reveals plot holes. I had two. Throw me a rope!
  5. Editing is hard, time-consuming work. I have one page out of 269 with no edits. ONE! And technically it doesn't count 'cause it's the last page and it only has 8 lines.
  6. You start uncovering lots of your really bad habits. My characters turn around so much they'd get whiplash.
  7. One read through won't be enough.
  8. Cutting out lots of words was very easy...
  9. ...but I've got a lot to put in too.
  10. The opening line is very hard to get right. I'm still working on it.
  11. Using colours to separate types of edits helps my eyes pick up on everything.
  12. Taking breaks is essential. Too tired to carry on? Stop and pick it up another time.
How do you find editing? Please share your stories and any advice!


  1. Great list!

    Do you ever pleasantly surprise yourself when you go back and remember something that you wrote that maybe you hadn't thought about for a while? Sometimes I'm like "dude, that was genius!" and then I feel really good about myself until I hit the next crappy chunk. ;)

    I love finding my bad habits! I have a tendency to use the same words over and over and over. My vocabulary could use improvement.

  2. Laura: Sometimes I read things and have no recollection of writing them. It's quite exciting!

    My bad habit is largely repetitiveness. My characters turn, sigh, and spin a lot. Don't ask me why :P Thesaurus = vocab improvement win ;)

  3. That's what I mean! It's weird (and kind of awesome) to read something that you wrote but have no memory of writing.

    If there was no such thing as a thesaurus, I would probably never use a word that had more than 6 letters. ;)

  4. Laura: We must enter writing trances ;)

    I love my thesaurus and use it frequently.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts