Sunday 15 May 2011

Editing, editing, editing...

At the start of this year, I made a promise to myself. I wasn't going to start a new novel until I'd put out all the works languishing on my laptop. So far, I'm doing okay. I've been working my ass off on The Followers and it's now with the editor. I should hit my June 1st release date as long as I keep my nose to the keyboard and my ass on the chair.

I am, however, really looking forward to moving on to something else. As much as I love my novel, I'm just plain sick of the sight of it. I've lost track of the number of edits I've done on the book now and considering I wrote the novel in 2007 (I think) I would say it's definitely ready to be read.

Yesterday, I read a good post over at Julie Musil's blog about the dangers of over-editing. I totally agree with what she says about being careful about over-editing our writing. As much as we want to make our work perfect, we have to make sure we don't end up taking all the personality out of it. I've read some pieces before where a writer has tried to take every 'was' 'that' and 'it' out of every line they'd written. The result was a static, jerky piece of writing and simply didn't flow.

I'm a big fan of the site to help with my writing, but I am careful not to go completely overboard with it. There are times when certain words simply need to be overused, like for example, when someone is having a conversation. People talk how people talk, and cutting out words people would normally use will end up making their speech sound stilted.

So, now I'm working on the edits that are coming back to me. I'm being thorough, but not too thorough, and I'm looking forward to June 1st when I can finally wave my novel goodbye.


  1. Good luck with all you work and thank you for mentioning had never heard of it before.

  2. You're welcome, trainee! It's a great site and well worth paying for the subscription. I use it more than anything else!

  3. I love Autocrit, too, but yes, we can't go entirely with removing all overused words, because there are times we need to use them for flow. The same for redundancy.

    Blaze is bad: I always start writing something new while I'm editing my last novel. Editing can be boring at times, and by starting fresh, I keep the creative juices flowing.

    Over-editing can indeed rip the guts out of a great story. I edit first for flow and then for the rest.

    Great post, my friend!