The Editing Process

So I’ve started. And part of me regrets it to be honest, since tomorrow starts NaNoWriMo. I feel like I’ve started something and I’m about to drop it in the middle. Frankly put, yes, that is what I’m about to do, but only for a month. If I keep telling myself that, I should be all right. Right?

Anyway, editing process….

I had a sample out yesterday, the same sample that I’m preparing to read at the next LWC meeting. I’m actually looking forward to that. Its starting to feel a whole lot less scary now. I think the very fact that the writing was received well and that the FB project I’m doing with another friend was also well received makes it less frightening. But, this sample, it was a piece I had already been through once, but, sitting in Nero, with a pen, I was still picking up typos, omitted words and things I wanted to change. And though I didn’t rewrite it, particularly, there were lots of things that I fiddled with.

And I think that’s something important that I need to keep an eye on. Realistically, somebody can edit something and edit it and edit it and edit it. There will always be something I want to change. There will always be something that I want to fiddle, or, in the final product, there will always be a small thing I wished I changed. That’s just the way things are. I think the editing process as much as anything else, is knowing when to stop.

Feedback, opinions from other authors, friends, family, strangers, all of it is valuable and all of it is subjective. I know that. Everyone will have different thoughts and ideas and responses to what I write. However, for the novel to remain mine, I have to ensure that I can balance good suggestions for changes against what I want. And I also have to know when to stop. Not necessarily ignoring people and their ideas/suggestions, but understanding that if I try to make changes every time someone suggests it, the editing and rewriting process will never end. And more importantly, knowing that when I’m working on my prose, that I don’t go nuts with chopping, slicing, moving, rewriting each time I look at the same section. I have to reach a point I’m happy and then go forward with that.

Its a confidence issue really. Tell me I’m wrong if you think it, but I’m starting to understand that constantly changing and messing with things, is a manifestation of my fear and lack of confidence in my writing. And I have have to be confident in what I write. I have to be sure in myself that what I have produced is top quality, or else I’m never going to reach the point that I’m comfortable letting agents look at it, to decide if they can represent me. That is the core of it. And yes, though I have to be aware of the market I’m writing for and my audience, I still have to stay true to the original vision I had (and still have!) for this novel. And if I’m not confident enough in that, I run the risk of changing it so much to please others that its no longer mine.

That is not what I want.

So… I think, talking myself around in a huge circle – lol! – taking a step back for NaNoWriMo, particularly when the whole point of that exercise is to enjoy the writing process, rather than worrying about quality, will put me in a better position to come back to Silk Over Razor Blades and maintain faith in what I have done. After all, the NaNo novel will be dear-god awful, I know that. But doing that, and then coming back to something that I have spent time and love and care one, will remind me that I am capable and I am talented enough a writer to show the rest of the world what I can do.

RAR! Pep talk over… bring it!

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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1 Response to The Editing Process

  1. Pingback: A New Project? « Writing: A Conversation Without Interuptions

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