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  • Writer's pictureMegan DiMaria

The editing blues and how to push through them

*Congratulations, catbooks72! You won a copy of Jen's book, Storing Up Trouble. Please message me, and I'll pass your address on to Jen.

I'm editing, and I have hit the why-did-I-think-I-can-do-this point. It feels like I'm driving on a lonely road during a dark night with only one headlight.

It's not pretty. But I'm certain I'm not the only one to feel this way. See, even Harper Lee had her doubts:

There are resources, however. You can purchase some good books that will help to guide you through the process. Two that I use are Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King.

For some encouragement, I went to my online writers' organization, ACFW, and asked for advice. Here are some of the nuggets that were shared:

  • Read your absolute favorite scene over again to remind yourself that you are a good writer.

  • Move ahead to a scene that you love and edit that one.

  • Enjoy tweaking a sentence and changing a word because those are all things that make the story come alive for the reader. But, chocolate is always a part of the equation.

  • Good, better, best. Editing is a test. The good gets better, and the better becomes best.

  • Learn to love deadlines. Then reward yourself at the end. Afterward, take a longish break and go back with fresh eyes.

  • Break the editing down. Read the scene for content first (big edits), are you staying in POV head? Does the scene move the story forward? Are you starting the scene five minutes late and leaving five minutes early? That type of thing. Then go back and start micro editing.

  • How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The final edit is much easier if you've done many small edits along the way.

So, even if this graphic represents you and your work, there's hope! As long as you have that draft, you can clean it up and give it a good polish.

Write on, friends!


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