Waiting to Edit

With almost a full month of NaNoWriMo being completed the looming job of editing is staring me in the face.  I am actually not ready to edit this year’s novel as I am still working on 2010’s so I can let the 2011 simmer in my head a bit longer but the knowledge that I will have to at some point is still there.  And that thought frightens me some.

The biggest problem is that I am too close to the work (then again what author isn’t?).  In 2010 when I finished on November 30th I decided to wait until at least the beginning of February.  I was burnt out on anything relating to my own work during December (not to mention how the holidays take up so much time) and I didn’t think January would be enough time with it out of my sight to work on.  Unfortunately February came and I still couldn’t edit it, I was STILL too close to the characters, setting, story.  So I waited a few more months and tried again, same problem.

In June I was able to pick up my red pen and begin to edit the novel.  Unfortunately it wasn’t the great job I had hoped it would be.  I tried doing a little at a time with limited success.  I even gave a copy to a friend of mine who I knew would rip it to pieces.  Unfortunately she never got around to it and now has decided she won’t do it for me, she thinks I will be highly upset with her for ripping it apart when that is exactly what I am looking for.

August was when I finally got smart and began to edit the novel backwards.  While I have heard of doing this, I didn’t think doing it for a first edit would be a good job.  However I am making progress, of a sort.  I have discovered some inconsistencies I don’t think I otherwise would have going forwards.  You definitely get a different perspective by reading the last chapter to the first.

I stopped editing during November so I was no influenced by my own writing during the second novel.  And much like last December, I have not had much time to edit again, plus I wanted a break from my own story.  Come January I will be at it hard and heavy again.  I do have to say that waiting to edit is probably a good idea.  Hopefully for you, it won’t take eight months to accomplish something useful.


About awritersprocess
I have been a writer longer than I can remember. It started with poems in grade school and evolved into the manuscripts, articles, and blogs that I currently write for. My desire to become an editor came later in life but I am no less passionate about that as I am about writing. I have a BA in English (with a minor in History) and have even taken a proofreading class through Editorial Freelancers Association. I am a writer for hire.

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