On Editing

Editing is, without doubt, the hardest part of writing. Well, for me it is anyway. OK, so the first part is easy enough where you proof read for spelling mistakes and wonder why a male character suddenly turned into ‘she’ halfway through a sentence and sometimes you accidentally put two sentences together and make a huge mess, but after that, that’s when the real work begins.

I find cutting the hardest part of editing. They say you should cut things that aren’t really important, but to me it’s all important, which is why I love my creative writing seminars because people in the class can see what I can’t. It’s like being in love, when you see everything through rose tinted glasses. You have to take off the glasses and step back to really see what you’ve written. It’s not easy. Sometimes you’ve written something really shocking and it’s pretty disheartening (been there), but if you know it’s not as good as it could be then you also know that you could make it better and so editing happens.

Sometimes you edit so much you can’t even see what needs doing any more, or worse, there’s not a lot left to do without changing the entire thing. I’m there with one of my assessments and it’s driving me crazy. I took it to my class this morning and I got sound advice on little bits that should be changed and then an added note from my tutor that the pace felt a little off in one section. So I can hopefully fix that, but I’m at the hard part now, or I will be once I’ve done the editing. The putting down the piece part. Writing’s hard. Editing’s hard. But stopping writing, stopping editing, that might be even harder.

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