I’ve changed the title of this post several times. Each time I thought I captured the essence of what I’m trying to say, but this is my favourite. I attribute that fact to the youtube video I managed to find from one of my favourite shows; Will And Grace.
The clip is only nine seconds long but enough really is enough by the time you make it that far.
So what am I talking about?
Editing of course. That horrible little bug bear that drives all of us crazy. You know what I’m talking about. You refine and correct and rewrite and restructure and pare down and tighten, all the while thinking; ‘when will I know when I’m done?’
This is heavy in my mind right now. As the deadline for HarperVoyager creeps closer and all the feedback starts to roll in, I have to decide on my final edits. [Aside; the response to my call for Betas has been amazing. Thank you, all, so very, very much, for your constructive words and kind comments. Your understanding has been brilliant and the speed you’ve all come back to me boggles the mind. You’re all awesome and I’m indebted to you. Please let me know if I can ever return the favour!]
If you’ve ever read the SORB page, then you’ll know that I’ve been writing this novel for almost half my life. It started as something so small and simple and has evolved into a major part of my writing life. I always come back to this novel, even after promising myself that I’m done. And every time I come back to it, there are changes. I can honestly say that recent changes have all been for the better; several chapters have been rewritten and some have been removed. One character is gone for good and two others have been given a major overhaul. Clunky, pointless scenes have been streamlined. Dialogue has been punched up. Naught adverbs and pointless verbiage has been given the old heave ho. But is it enough? How will I ever know?
If I’m waiting for validation in the form of an agent/publisher, I’ll be searching and waiting for the rest of my life. Possibly. I could be that this novel is never picked up and then what? Will I just keep editing it forever?
I have decided, heaven help me, that this edit of SORB is my last. No more. After this, I bite the bullet and move onto the next two books in the trilogy. That or leave it alone completely and move onto pastures new. It’s sad, but I can’t keep picking at this novel any more. It isn’t healthy. Besides, I have plenty of other ideas that I need to tackle and I can’t do that while still lingering over this piece.
What about you guys? How do you know when you’re done? Do you have a novel that you’ve just beaten and beaten to death? Do these feelings ring any bells for you? As ever, I’d love to know. 🙂