Editing. It doesn’t get talked about enough. After all, my current WIP was drafted over 2.5 weeks in April, 2016 and every time I’ve touched it since has been to edit. In other words, I’ve already invested far more into its revising than its writing.
Whether you’re seeing where inspiration takes you or you have some form of outline at your disposal, once drafting begins the process is relatively straightforward: share what you know about the story. Editing is a varied refinement process with countless aspects requiring attention. That adds up to a lot of time. For instance, right now, with two novels drafted and the third not yet planned, there’s little else going on in my writing life outside editing.
Bottom line: We spend far more time revising than writing. The ratio may vary, but the general principle holds true. What Hollywood most often portrays as writing is drafting, but the reality of writing is editing.
Yet, my observation is that most dislike editing and, in many cases, despise it. Long ago, I’d shirk the process (sudden images of high school), but these days I appreciate and enjoy it. Still, for most, it’s tedious, boring, and a constant reminder of how poorly they drafted, as if a perfect first draft exists.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Maybe the problem isn’t the process, but the mindset. Perception is everything. After all, if your protagonist’s reaction to their environment is crucial, shouldn’t the same apply to your reaction to revising?
I’ve no magic potion to make someone love editing, but maybe I can share some inspiration. After all, editing is my life for the foreseeable future. Too, the timing is good because I’m currently navigating my way through some serious health issues. Having a consistent blogging topic in coming weeks would be a great aid.
I don’t have it all figured out, and there are far more qualified people than me to talk about the technical details of editing, but I can discuss why it has become, for me, the true magic. Maybe, just maybe, some tidbit will click with someone else.
So, next week, post testing at the hospital, I’ll revisit this topic again.