Editing, I really dislike it

“Did I ever tell you that I hate editing?” That statement opened a conversation I had with Jasmine Aziz, author of ‘Sex & Samosas’. Her response was ‘You are going to love it.’ Six months after that conversation and I still hate editing, but we are learning.

Editing, shudder, is that process which we employ to try and remove the excess verbiage from our baby without destroying it. It is also the process we use to make sure all the words are in the right place and included in the text. Isn’t it amazing how we automatically fill in missing words as we read through our pride and joy? I am really bad for it and have been known to miss more than a few words, even after there absence has been pointed out to me.

If, like me, you are one of those prized diamonds in the rough who struggled through high school English classes, then you will know where I am coming from. I can’t tell an adjective from a noun or a verb from an adverb. Sentence structure is something that only works when it sounds right. I am an English teachers nightmare and have no plans on trying to change that. But I still try to edit my own work with some success.

There are as many books on editing as there are authors and everyone has, what they believe, the best advice on how to do it. Some work, most don’t. The simplest form is to find someone else to do it for you. But you had better hope that your work makes some sense, if not it will comeback looking like a Grade 11 English paper complete with red marks and possibly a big F circled on the front cover. At least if it is a friend and acquaintance you won’t get the dreaded rejection letter, but then again you may not have a friend any more either.

What works for me was to take a course offered online by Rayne Hall. The Word-Loss Diet teaches you how to edit your work by looking for words that are over used, especially by new writers. I was amazed and shocked at the number of times words like ‘see, turn, look & like’ were abused and over used. Did this method help? Yes it did, but it is a long and sometimes tedious journey. I still like the get a friend to edit it method better.

My goal is to have the first book of the Eye of Zul series out by early Fall, sooner if possible. That means completing the dreaded editing chore and having it proofread. The cover is done, the decision on how to publish it has been decided. Now I just have to force myself to edit the book. If my series takes off and there is an income from it, then I am going to hire an editor, at least I will have a better chance to maintian my sanity. Did I ever tel
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l you how much I hate editing?

Posted in The Blog, The Craft of Writing |

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