Don’t you love the editing process? All those plot holes that spring to light, snapping at your throat, the three different ways you spelt ‘their’, the endless discovery of typos, multiplying like flys on… Oh, you don’t like the editing process? There’s a surprise.
I know exactly how I feel about the editing process. Right now, at the beginning, it’s not too bad. I’ve gone through the whole manuscript (a pile of 250 A4 pages weighs a lot, in case you didn’t already know) and made notes on what needs to be sorted out. There are a couple of things which aren’t mentioned on there because they’re not yet there to be mentioned, but they will go on the list I intend to write today. The list of all the notes (including page numbers) that I made over the weekend. And the extra bits which aren’t there yet.
This stage isn’t too bad. This is the planning stage. Like the planning stage before actually writing a book it is the easy part. You write down all the things you want to do. If you’re really organised you even put them in chronological order. You end up with a nice long list of things to do. Awesome.
The problem is, I’m hopeless with ‘things to do’ lists. I can make them, that isn’t the issue. The issue is in dealing with everything on the list. As fast as one thing gets ticked off, something springs up to take its place. Hopefully this is one area where writing will trump real life. There comes a point with a book where you can no longer do anything to it of practical use, which is when you know it is ready, whether you like it or not, to head out into the real world.
I wouldn’t know. I’ve never got to that point. My last book got sent out because otherwise I was going to miss the deadline. Not because I could no longer make it better. I’m actually scared to look at it. One day I will, possibly accompanied by a large bag of biscuits and a cattle prod, just to cover both ends of the stick and carrot analogy.
So here I am, about to embark on the journey of discovery that is editing my book. Already it doesn’t seem that good. Just a bunch of words strung together to create a story. All I can say for sure is that I definitely made my heroine suffer and while she is, in actual fact, badass, she definitely doesn’t know it. I have heard these are good things. Thankfully my critique partner is incredibly excited by my story, which gives me hope to continue. Personally I just want to make it as good as it can be. The interesting part is seeing how much better it will be than it is now.
How do you feel about the editing process? Are there bits you don’t get so worried about, like the resolution of plot inconsistencies as opposed to the seemingly never-ending search for typos? Does the whole thing fill you with dread, or joy? I want to know. Maybe I can learn something.