I like to write. No actually I love to write. I love to create stories and to watch them grow. I like to watch my characters grow and blossom. When I hear people who have read my stories tell me how much they like them and how engrossed they are with the characters it makes me feel so good. I could care less about the money. It makes me feel good just to know my hard work paid off.
You have just completed a 60,000 word novel, and you are so excited. Then you realize that you have to now o through that story with a fine comb dotting every I and crossing every T. You now read and reread that story until you can’t read it no more or you know it by heart.
Then, you hand the story off to an editor or a group of editors and they go through your story with a fine tooth comb.
I remember when I wrote my first novel. I asked my friend to edit for me. She is extremely smart and I trusted her to do this for me. When she gave my story back to me, I felt so stupid. I also felt embarrassed because I thought she now felt I was not very intelligent.
She even told me that that ending to my first novel was careful. This was at a time in my life when I was not very good with criticism. I felt like giving up. For a time, I put her criticism and my novel on the back burner because I didn’t want to deal with it. it Then one day, I realized she was right. The ending I had was very boring and it was not like me at all to write a terrible ending like that. I felt like I rushed the ending because I wanted to just end the story.
After my husband read my story, he agreed that it sounded nothing like me. That I was trying to write a story that I thought would sell or what readers were looking for. What I should have been writing was the story that my characters were telling me.
So I chopped large portions of my story and wrote how I should have been writing in the first place. The next edit my story faced, I was prepared for, and there was criticism, but there was also lots of praise for the new story. That is the Prohibited, my first novel that you read today.
Editing is like taking medicine when you were sick. No one wants to take that disgusting medicine but it is the only way that you will get better. Just like as after you write a beautiful story, the only thing that will make it better is to edit it and edit it again.
If you don’t take editing serious your “masterpiece” could look like crap to readers. If you have tons of grammatical errors, misspelled words or scenes revered, your masterpiece becomes not worth the paper it was written on.
I know it is hard to have someone edit your novel. It makes you feel like you are back in high school and your essay comes back with a big fat F on it. Your self-esteem becomes very low and you start to question your own writing. What you must understand is that, editing is a step you must not skip. You have to utilize it and make your novel the bet that it can be.
So yes, I still loathed editing. It is repetitive, it is boring, it makes you vulnerable, you fail and there’s, but your novel is so much better for it. A good writer knows that you always edit, edit, edit and edit it some more.
It still doesn’t mean I have to like it.