Rereading your own writing can be scary. It’s true. Will it be as good as you remember? Will you be utterly embarrassed for writing such crap? Will you feel like an idiot laughing out loud at your own joke, then smiling because that means you still really like it?
At least, that’s how it is for me. So when I edit, its a slow process. I read a bit, edit a bit. I read through the paragraph before changing anything, then read it again after. Sometime, I change it again, and again, until it looks practically the same as where I started.
As writers we are told that a good novel takes MANY drafts and gallons of red ink to make it good. I have learned that the best thing to do is to write what feels organic. If it doesn’t sound right the first time I write it, I change it until it does before moving on in the first draft. I know that is another supposed No No, but it’s what works for me. I know others who would never be able to write the way I do. The get the scenes down on paper then connect them later. I know others who create a strict outline and never waiver from it. Me? I have a basic outline of main plot points, but beyond that my characters decide on their own how they want to navigate to each point.
One would think this would make the editing easier. But it doesn’t change the fears of reading your work and finding out you suck. My get it right, right away, mentality makes editing take forever. It took me three hours to do one chapter today. Three hours.
BUT if you look at my new little word counter on the side of the blog, you will see that I am coming along. I now have completed eleven chapters of revisions and only have six left. I plan on being done with editing, and being ready to begin the query journey, by the end of this month.
Okay, enough procrastinating…time to get back to work!