Monday, March 7, 2016

Over-Editing Can Lead To A Negative Attitude

Although editing is a necessary evil, it is also something that can lead to a completely negative attitude about your story. It is crucial, that during your editing process, you keep several things in mind.

The first important thing to remember is to know when to say enough is enough. Yes, I understand a story can always be improved on, but there will come a point in the editing when over-editing is going to ruin the story. There is also a risk of getting so picky in the editing that the story becomes something it isn't. Or, even worse, you start making changes that will cause other elements in the story to become of of sync with the rest of the story.

Although it would be great to make the story perfect, you have to eventually say, "it is what it is" and hope for the best.

There is a positive side, however. Not overly obsessing does not mean the problem will not be caught. Your agent, if you have one, will catch it. You editor will catch it. Even your critique partners will catch it. In other words, don't worry about it.

Secondly, it is always important to have a stable person reading your project. A book I like to refer to a lot, titled A POCKET MUSE recommends that every writer have two editors. One who can be brutally honest, and the other who is there for the positive vibes. It is this second person you need to keep you from becoming psychotic.

I am that person for one of my authors. She is actually in the middle of editing a project right now that is really giving her fits. I am constantly having to remind her that things are fine and to not stress. It is tough because she gets to a point when she starts thinking the story is a piece of you know what. I have to keep reminding her (and her editor does too) that the story is fine and to stick to the thesis.

The point is, editing is tough. It is not enjoyable. But, if you take it easy. Know you are doing your best and take your time. You will be fine.

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