11 comments on “Edit as you go?

  1. I used to edit almost pathologically as I went. I never saw a problem with it until one day I sent my friend a copy of the manuscript and a few weeks later I realized she’d yet to read it. When I asked about it, she said, “There’s no point in reading it now because you’re just going to edit it into something else entirely, and I’ll have to read *that* one.”

    That was my eye-opener haha. Now, especially since participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time Nov 2013, I’m a one-stag writer. I write, and *then* I edit. It feels so much nicer knowing that you’re past a scene that may not be the best, no, but also is *done*.

    • I agree, I’ve been getting into the swing of constant writing a lot more lately. I like the feeling of moving forward and just concentrating on the story itself. Sure the editing process may be twice as soul-destroying later down the line but hey, that’s part and parcel of being a writer 😉

  2. I can get too caught up in editing as I go. I’m now trying to just ‘get it on the page’ and then go back at the end and edit. Otherwise, I spend all my time tinkering and never moving forward.

  3. I agree with Kate and Sierra, about the importance of getting it onto the page. I do often fall into the trap of editing as I go, but strangely enough that process is now limited to short stories. I believe, for me, it works when the story is already written in my head. I like the fact that when I get to the end, whether 500 words or 1,000 – it needs less tinkering. It’s also a process that helps me develop my own style and it’s great practice. One of the reasons I love taking part in prompts, and why I created them. Practising and finding your rhythm through short works can really help when it comes to the huge goal that is a novel.

    I think you’ll surprise yourself when you get to the end, and might even begin to respect the editing process a little more. Doing it this way, most of what you look back on will need to go, but you learn from it too. It changes when you begin to work on it a second time around; you see the flaws, yes, but you also see what’s needed to fix them – plus lots more things spring up…new discoveries that can be just as exciting. At least that’s how it is for me.

    Have fun with it 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We can all learn from each other.

    • I agree that it really helps to try and find your own rhythm. I think it’s been good for me to step outside of my usual routine and try something new though; it’s been working better than I anticipated, which is the beauty of stepping outside your comfort zone 🙂

  4. I do like to do light editing as I go. I do the same as what you used to, generally read over the writing I did the day before and edit it, refreshing my mind before moving onto writing the next bit 😀

    I think focusing solely on getting the first draft down is definitely the best way to go if it suits your writing. Then, it is all about the story and getting it down. Editing is something that can make your work shine, but if you don’t have anything to polish up then it’s not going to matter 🙂

  5. I think this rule of writing as fast as you can, then doing all of the editing when you’ve finished your draft is overstated. Surely it depends on the author and their own unique approach. Almost everything else does. I find I can’t leave obvious errors in my draft. I write a chapter at a time, and I do re-read the next day, and do some editing. If see a place where I know I should have said something else, or added more explanation, I want to fix it before I forget. By the end of the book, I will have lost that thought. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not polishing at that stage. I have a very good editor who helps me with that. But I like to send her my best effort, therefore, I definitely make changes as I write. There’s a difference to me between a rough draft and a garbage draft, and I don’t like leaving garbage behind as I go.

    This is purely what works for me, and by no means right for everyone. But then, I actually LOVE editing. The whole process. It’s the icing on the cake. It’s taking my base-coated painting and turning it into a detailed work of art, suitable for framing. I enjoy it as much, if not more than, the outpouring of the whole story.

    • A very true and well stated point; it really is about each writer finding what works for them. I feel about the process of polishing a project the way you do about editing. That feeling of knowing the finishing line is within sight; the story is there; the hard graft has been done and it’s simply a case of presenting your work as tantalisingly as you can – it’s a wonderful feeling.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, it’s much appreciated.

      • My pleasure, Callum. I’m going to enjoy looking around your blog, for sure. And if you are interested in doing an Author Interview on mine at some point, just email me. Love to have you! In the meantime, have a great day, and keep on writing. It’s the best job a person can have!

        • I’m working on a project right now so as I near publication I just may do that actually, thank you 🙂

          I absolutely agree; it’s wonderful to have a job that can also be a passion. All the best!

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