Editing- A Necessary Evil

My first manuscript if finally complete. And the act of a full edit has come along with a few lessons in editing. No amount of reading and studying can prepare you for the utter agony of chopping well loved, hard-won sentences, paragraphs and Yes! whole chapters…

Some writers find the Dreaded Chop incomparably painful. And some don’t. And as I cringed and hit Enter to delete my Chapter, I expected a flood of grief at seeing those words gurgling and swirling down the edit-toilet. Thousands of words gone in the tap of a plastic button. But I must be stronger than I thought.

Or perhaps I have forgotten the excruciating pain/delight of churning out the words and meeting my writing targets. Perhaps I have forgotten – culling whole chapters was fairly painless. But its a necessary thing.

Like unconsciously writing back story which you will have to edit out at a later date. It fills in the blanks, helps to keep the momentum going, like training wheels. Until you gains the strength and courage to speed off without it. That is how I felt liberated.

Removal of unneccessary, unwanted words, paragraphs and chapters is absolutely a necessary evil. But it’s how you approach the matter that really matter. As a writer one must be capable of treating ones work as a sales item. It is your work of art but unless you are that emotional artist who works only for your own pleasure, you need to identify the needs of your market. And pander to those needs.

Perfecting your product is the key and if perfection turns out to be a painful process then so be it. Chin up, tummy in, soldier on.

So whats painful when you are editing? Each writer has their own pet hates… Whats’s yours?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Warrior Friend,
    I’m lonely too in Blog world. Just got mine up because I know blogging is the way to go for writers. So here I am in your part of the world. EDITING IS THE WORST. I hate to get rid of my “darlings;” but necessary. Do like your post–EDITING: A NECESSARY EVIL. It tells it as it is.


    1. tgayer says:

      Thanks Nanette,
      It takes courage to start out on the writing path, it takes tonnes of courage to keep going. Every word you scribe is your little creation, and killing them off seems like such a crime. But I think of it like an apple tree in its first season. I’ve heard it said that you must pick off a good amount of the little baby apples before they grow – this makes the tree think it needs to produce more and so you get a more abundant crop the next season. So my MS is like an apple tree- and by chopping my little apple/paragraphs, I know for sure the final result will be tighter, smoother, more perfect.
      Onward and upward dear friend scribe….
      cheers Tee


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